wellington-new-zealand

Kim Pieters, . . . to walk horizontally along the edge of a word, blinded by sun, to forget what was seen, and what there is, and beneath heel, to gather the fiction of a hill, 2011, four panels, mixed media on hardboard, overall 3' 11 1/4“ × 14' 1 1/4”.

Kim Pieters

Adam Art Gallery

Kim Pieters, . . . to walk horizontally along the edge of a word, blinded by sun, to forget what was seen, and what there is, and beneath heel, to gather the fiction of a hill, 2011, four panels, mixed media on hardboard, overall 3' 11 1/4“ × 14' 1 1/4”.

Kim Pieters took a risk in titling her first survey exhibition “what is a life?” Such a portentous question is hard to address, but it turned out to be a near-perfect encapsulation of the self-examining quality of the artist’s work. Encompassing video, sound, photography, drawing, and, most of all, painting, her oeuvre comes together not so much through specific forms as via a kind of mood: a wintry, subantarctic cool that permeates everything. It’s tempting to read this in autobiographical terms: Pieters has spent most of her working life in Dunedin, New Zealand’s southernmost city of any real size. Also clear, though, is that her work is as informed by a deep engagement with a strand of European philosophy that deals with the shape of visual experience, from Bergson and Benjamin through Deleuze, as by her own life. Her videos in particular bring these two forces into conversation.

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