Time Capsule From Japan: 14/10/04 - 5/11/04

Fiona Connor / Lauren Winstone

  • 27 Feb - 17 Mar, 2006

Fiona Connor makes new art about the whole world.

'When visiting Japan in late 2004 I collected objects. Not the actual objects, but what I could not afford or steal I documented and made when I returned to my studio at home here in New Zealand.  The gathering process was less like taking photos but taking stuff instead - even though they were photographs. I selected things that struck and that appealed to me.  My motivation was to have an exotic collection of objects from a period of time determined by my arrival and departure in Japan. Readymades and contrived replicas coexist, but collectively there's an illustration of a different time and place.'

It's a well worn path; the bringing back of antiquities and exotic souvenirs from a far away land - something that speaks about the specifics of a time and a place. It's the process on which our national museums and institutions are built. But Connor's version of this 'bringing back' is an unusually heightened one. Instead of lugging the stuff back in her suitcase, she has painstakingly reconstructed both familiar and strange objects with an acute xenophile's eye. Here, 'standard issue' industrial objects receive the same laboured and loving reincarnation as centuries-old applied arts. These sit alongside manufactured products that exist in their thousands, and when slammed together - the crafted and the manufactured - it pulls into the question the value, status, and longevity of the objects in our world.

Lauren Winstone