press release

Co-curated by Turkey's internationally renowned Fulya Erdemci and New Zealand's Danae Mossman, SCAPE 2008 will open with a distinctive list of artists showcasing new work in public space. Sited city-wide outdoors and at the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, SCAPE 2008 runs for 6 weeks from 19 Sep – 2 Nov*.

A city is a dynamic system constantly in flux, that reflects the shifting values of society, where social and political representations, cultural production and consumption, tourism and leisure play out. Globalisation has led to greater mobility and increasing migration, transforming cities at an increasingly rapid pace. Culturally, this shift has seen shopping malls become surrogate social spaces, and urban centres designed to capture the tourist dollar over the need for public space that appeals to local inhabitants.

Driven by a desire to explore the potential for a new culture of space, Wandering Lines: Towards a New Culture of Space presents works by 25 artists across Christchurch city who reflect the conditions and conflicts of Christchurch's public spaces. The title Wandering Lines (de Certeau: 1998) is drawn from the notion that 'indirect or errant trajectories obeying their own logic' can provide new understandings of space (ibid).

Making seemingly invisible contingencies visible, artistic interventions can propose a different experience of locale and situation, or suggest opportunties for more relevant public space, to counter the effects of privatisation and neo-liberal economic policies on social space.

SCAPE 2008 is firmly positioned within the dynamic systems of the city and will develop relationships between artworks and an infinite number of spatial, urban, social, psychological, individual or communal, political and historical conditions that exist in the city. In this sense, interweaving art within the social and urban context is vital in activating a critical dialogue towards a new culture of space.

In line with Vito Acconci's definition of the function of art in public space, SCAPE 2008 projects are considered in accordance with their ability to de-design the spatial politics and established 'ways of operating' to reveal conflicts and contingencies in the urban realm.

Structured around three intersecting layers, SCAPE 2008 is interested in researching drivers behind global conditions of change in cities, mapping the complex textures and terrains that are specific to Christchurch city and creating a spatial dialogue that brings forward aspects of the city that resonate with global issues.

The SCAPE Christchurch Biennial is New Zealand's only international biennial dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary art in public space. It plays a unique and important role as it focuses on commissioning new works of art. This year approximately 90 per cent of the artworks shown in the Biennial will premiere in Christchurch..

Artists: AVL - Atelier van Lieshout (The Netherlands), Billy Apple (New Zealand/United States); Hannah & Aaron Beehre (New Zealand), Erick Beltrán (Mexico), Guillaume Bijl (Belgium), Elmgreen & Dragset (Norway/Denmark), Ayşe Erkmen (Germany/Turkey), Pat Foster & Jen Berean (Australia), Carmela Gross (Brazil), Lonnie Hutchison (New Zealand), Ann Veronica Janssens (Belgium), Paul Johns (New Zealand), Maider López (Spain), Tea Mäkipää (Finland), Callum Morton (Australia), Tatzu Oozu (Germany/Japan), James Oram (New Zealand), Murat & Fuat Şahinler (Turkey), Karin Sander (Germany), Marnie Slater (NZ), Ron Terada (Canada), ZUS - Zones Urbaines Sensibles (The Netherlands), Felice Varini (France/Switzerland)

SCAPE previews 19 September, following the 2nd Singapore Biennale (9, 10 Sep) and the 6th Taipei Biennial (11, 12 Sep). Direct flights are available from Singapore to Christchurch and from Taipei (via Singapore or Sydney) to Christchurch.

Focusing on creative strategies and possible futures for art in public space the SCAPE 2008 Public Programme is concentrated over the opening weekend 20-21 September.

at Christchurch Art Gallery until 30 Nov

SCAPE Christchurch Biennial 2008
Kuratoren: Fulya Erdemci, Danae Mossman

mit Atelier van Lieshout, Billy Apple, Hannah & Aaron Beehre, Erick Beltran, Guillaume Bijl, Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Ayse Erkmen, Pat Foster & Jen Berean, Carmela Gross, Lonnie Hutchison, Ann Veronica Janssens, Paul Johns, John Kormeling, Maider Lopez, Tea Mäkipää, Callum Morton, Tatzu Oozu, James Oram, Murat Sahinler & Fuat Sahinler, Karin Sander, Marnie Slater, Ron Terada, Nasan Tur, Zones Urbaines Sensibles (Elma van Boxel & Kristian Koreman)