ARTISTS Hany Armanious, Stephen Birch, Olaf Breuning, Maurizio Cattelan and Ali Subotnick and Massimiliano Gioni, Rob Cherry, Julian Dashper, Neil Dawson, Simon Denny, Don Driver, Mikala Dwyer, Et Al., Warwick Freeman, Jeffrey Harris, Michael Harrison, Glen Hayward, Jae Hoon Lee, Giovanni Intra, Richard Killeen, Eileen Leung, Colin McCahon, Paul McCarthy, Dane Mitchell, Kyoko Murase, Yuko Murata, N.I.C.J.O.B., Rose Nolan, Michael Parekōwhai, John Parker, Don Peebles, Peter Peryer, Patrick Pound, Peter Robinson, Marie Shannon, Michael Stevenson, Axel Stockburger, Ricky Swallow, Francis Upritchard, Ronnie Van Hout, Lachlan Warner, Rohan Wealleans, Gillian Wearing, Lawrence Weiner CURATOR Justin Paton ORGANISER Dunedin Public Art Gallery OTHER VENUES Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 26 August–12 November 2006; Christchurch Art Gallery, 17 March–1 July 2007 SPONSOR Ernst and Young PUBLICATION essay Justin Paton, interview Justin Paton with Jim Barr and Mary Barr
Jim Barr and Mary Barr say art collecting ought to be 'partisan, passionate, and political'. In 1997, the influential Wellington art collectors place 164 works—predominantly by New Zealand artists—on long-term loan with Dunedin Public Art Gallery. These works will regularly feature in its shows. In 2001, City Gallery shows Good Work, a selection of the loan works, toured by Dunedin Public Art Gallery, curated by Justin Paton.
In 2006, the Barrs gift thirty works from the loan collection to Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
In 2007, the Barr collection returns to City Gallery in Reboot—again curated by Paton. Works from the loan collection are accompanied by some of the Barrs's subsequent acquisitions. The show is framed as the ‘reboot’ of the loan collection in light of these these purchases.
The show presents emerging and established artists, New Zealand and international artists, alongside one another. Emerging artist Eileen Leung meets senior New Zealand artist Richard Killeen in the ‘Painting in Pieces’ section, while New Zealander Peter Robinson trades ideas with a work by Italians Maurizio Cattelan and Massimiliano Gioni, and LA's Ali Subotnick, in ‘What It’s Worth’. There are more big-name internationals, including Martin Creed, Paul McCarthy, Ricky Swallow, Gillian Wearing, and Laurence Weiner. Works by New Zealand artists living abroad—including Ronnie van Hout, Michael Stevenson, and Francis Upritchard—also feature.
There are works big and small. In a wall vitrine, smaller works—including multiples, like Olaf Breuning's Lemon Pig (2004), and ceramics by Et Al. and John Parker—are showcased. Meanwhile, in an iconic-ironic wallpainting by Australian Rose Nolan, the word 'SELFDOUBT' writ large fills a massive wall. Perhaps the most crowd-pleasing work is Cosmo (2006), Michael Parekōwhai’s giant-bunny inflatable—an imposing, if comic, presence.