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Home » Arts, Headline

Wellington Office Building Becomes a Work of Art

Submitted by on April 1, 2011 – 7:13 pm

Media Release

For immediate release March 31st 2011

Wellington Office Building Becomes a Work of Art

The Market Testament Colin Hodson,  11-25 April 2011

139 The Terrace, (formerly Asteron House,) Wellington

A Letting Space public art project

An entire office building on Wellington City’s The Terrace is to be turned into a work of art, public art programme Letting Space reveals today.

The vacant floors of a central office building will be occupied with its lighting controlled via a live data feed from the stock market. The work will operate at night for two weeks from Monday 11 April.

Colin Hodson’s artwork The Market Testament at 139 The Terrace, highlights, Hodson says, “the degree to which our lives are highly determined by a complex of economic systems that, to a large part, are running beyond our comprehension and control.” The work also includes a live webcam feed.

Public art programme Letting Space (www.lettingspace.org.nz) brings artists and property owners together to explore creative ideas for urban renewal and growth. It commissions temporary art works from leading New Zealand contemporary artists for vacant commercial CBD spaces. The programme was responsible for four public art projects in Wellington in 2010, including Kim Paton’s Free Store and Tao Wells’ The Beneficiary’s Office, which both caused significant national media interest and debate.

As has been reported, Wgtn CBD office vacancy rates are set to keep rising to 15% by 2013.  “We need to engage in creative solutions for the future mixed use of these buildings to ensure a vibrant future for the city. Colin Hodson’s work could act as a conversation starter,” says curator Mark Amery.

Artist Colin Hodson sees such buildings as symbols of an economic system increasingly run independently of human intervention and concerns.

“Many of us look from the outside at these buildings – monuments to the banking and finance industries – and feel excluded from the capitalist project that we were told heralded growth. Within their architecture we still see the echo of that optimism, carrying on without us, regardless. There may be no physical agencies on the unoccupied floors of these buildings, but in the flickering sequence of lights that mark occupation and utilities there’s a code still generating itself.”

Letting Space public art projects see partnerships made between artists and property developers and managers, and The Market Testament is no exception. The property partner for this project is Prime Property.

About Colin Hodson

Colin Hodson’s previous work includes the direction of two feature films, Shifter and .ON., and he is currently developing more film projects. He has exhibited video in various shows in New Zealand, Australia and The Netherlands, as well as live performance projects. He most recently produced a video recording of Richard Gage’s Blueprint For Truth Lecture recorded at Te Papa last year.

About Letting Space.

*  The current Letting Space programme is funded by Creative New Zealand
*  Letting Space commissions leading artists to work in vacant commercial properties, interacting with a wider community, and with the intention of transforming relationships between artists, property owners and their city.
*  Coming up in May and June in Wellington is a Letting Space project by artist Bronwyn Holloway-Smith. Pioneer-city.com will see a real estate showroom established to sell apartment dwellings in a city on Mars.
*  2010 projects in Wellington with Creative New Zealand (and in some cases Wellington City Council) support included Tao Wells’ controversial project The Beneficiary’s Office, in which Wells’ set up a PR company to promote the benefits of unemployment, and Kim Paton’s Free Store, in which Paton set up an independent grocery store giving away food for free to explore systems of food distribution. Versions of the Free Store as community projects have opened since in Waitakere and Wellington. Other major projects were completed in 2010 by artists Eve Armstrong (in Featherston Street Street) and Dugal McKinnon (Willis Street).
*  In 2010 Letting Space also organised a capacity event at City Gallery Wellington:Urban Dream Brokerage, which saw artists and property developers alike pitching ideas for the creative use of vacant space in Wellington city. A number of temporary public art projects were staged in 2010 independently of Letting Space out of this process.
*  In March Letting Space staged a major new work in Newmarket Auckland, as part of the Auckland Arts festival. Shopfront was described by the artists The Suburban Floral Association as an “alternative gardening event”, bringing the established plants and flowers of Auckland suburbs’ into a  new inner city residential area in the form of video screenings, installations, workshops and talks.
*  More information on all these projects and Letting Space can be found at www.lettingspace.org.nz

For more information and photographs please contact

Letting Space (Sophie Jerram and Mark Amery)

sophiejerramandmarkamery@gmail.com

tel 029 934 9749 or  027 3566 128

or Gabrielle McKone 021-373-873

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