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City Gallery City Gallery Wellington

Past exhibition

Michael Stevenson: Trolleys

12 March–12 May 1997

Parked in the foyer, Michael Stevenson’s bedraggled, customised trundlers, mobility scooters, and pram look out of place, like they've been left by homeless loonies, perhaps availing themselves of the public conveniences. Laden with hoarder junk, each bears a small red flag with its title: Whistleblower and Art Watchdog (1995); The Only Artist in Town, Art Warden, and Your Struggles Are Our Struggles (1997). These mobile pulpits are covered in rants written in shouty capital letters. Art Watchdog, for instance, declares: ‘HAVE YOU SEEN WHAT PASSES FOR ART THESE DAYS THAT HANGS IN GALLERIES’. It’s also equipped with a plastic horn, a Toys“R”Us bag, and dealer-gallery art-fair signs. Stevenson loves to play the end-is-nigh prophet or unhinged paranoid conspiracy theorist, ranting from the margins. The Gallery calls him ‘an embarrassing bag-person of the art world … His trolleys declare a brittle omnipotence as well as a sense of frustrated powerlessness.’