The artists featured in Pick Up Your Cave And Run suggest alternative positions from which to view our notions of home. A fundamental trait that apparently defines man from beast, the strong desire we all have
to construct a private space serves as a repository of all manner of things meaningful. Not merely a shelter for sleeping, our "caves" are also a social space and necessary for emotional wellbeing. As our oldest ancestors discovered, caves are great places to store objects of personal relevance.
Bar the occasional ascetic individual (an indulgent position nowadays), we all have a desire to furnish personal space. But space is not only physical. Our contemporary existence as liminal, internet-based 'social networking' machines indicates that times are changing and that our perceptions of personal space may also be
changing. For many individuals, including the artists in this exhibition, the definition of home is determined more by work and current circumstances than how space is furnished.
Free online services mean that even those among us whom society would like to ignore are now able to exist in multiple social circles off the grid. Of course this is part and parcel of a proviso that one is willing to exist online as a social avatar of oneself. If so, it is quite easy to exist socially with negligible personal contact to
anyone in ones sphere of influence. With access to permanent free digital services and landline phones becoming a thing of the past, perhaps we will one of these days no longer be required or in fact want to actually maintain a physical residence?
The relationship between objects and our sense of place is opened up for examination by the artists in this exhibition. Explorations range from our continued obsession with handicrafts to consideration of the
urban and natural environment. The role of objects and materials is a central factor in each of these projects. Pick Up Your Cave And Run reflects on domesticity from a generation of New Zealanders who have matured in a rapidly changing postcolonial economy.
Monday March 10, 2008.
Matt Blomeley is an artist, freelance writer, curator and currently Programme Co-ordinator at Objectspace, Auckland, NZ.