City Gallery City Gallery

Past exhibition

Daniel du Bern: Protection

21 April–21 May 2006

Wellington artist Daniel du Bern describes his ongoing Protection project as a ‘portrait of the artist and a portrait of the nation’. Alongside a self portrait and items of personal resonance, the show contains works relating to New Zealand’s history and visual culture. The references are diverse and subversive: including Russian artist Kasmir Malevich’s iconic black square, punk rock music, the 1981 Springbok tour, skateboard culture, New Zealand tourism campaigns, nationalism, biculturalism, and anarchism. Two black flags fly from the flagpoles atop the Gallery—a timely gesture, given the current debate about redesigning the New Zealand flag. The artist explains: ‘Within a global context the black flag is commonly seen as being representative of the Anarchist movement/s. Yet in New Zealand, with black being recognised as our national colour, the perceived meaning of the black flag—read All Black flag—is as much nationalistic as anything else.’