Video - Alter Ego

Insights into Alter Ego

“A visual narrative, the 'Alter Ego' video explores the ideas and forms of Aotearoa artist Gill Gatfield’s shape-shifting solo exhibition in Berlin, illuminating a practice that creates unexpected sculptural volumes, bends matter and reasoning about atavistic shapes, and creating philosophical, sociological and interactional pathways at the intersection of digital, physical and sensory realms.” – Curator Chiara Valci Mazzara

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Art Tours Berlin

March 2022.  Art Tours Berlin features Native Tongue XR in its curated public programme: IS THE FUTURE OF ART DIGITAL? NFTs, Data, the Metaverse, and More: "Visiting exhibitions that explore digital art's potential to change the art industry forever, we look at augmented reality in art through the work of distinguished sculptor Gill Gatfield at Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. Here we will discuss the work with curator Chiara Valci Mazzara. The monumental sculpture on the green outside the gallery appears out of thin air, summoned by a QR code. The physical sculpture is in New Zealand and carved from the heartwood of a giant tree buried over 50,000 years ago, illustrating the power of technology to transport objects."

Curator Essay

Alter Ego - Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz

Feb 2022. Curator Chiara Valci Mazarra writes about the exhibition Alter Ego: "On the occasion of her first solo presentation in Berlin, Alter Ego, Aotearoa New Zealand born artist Gill Gatfield conceived a project in two chapters – a large scale crystal-glass sculpture and a public space virtual reality installation – which talk and expand towards the human being. Renowned for her minimal, conceptual and abstract sculptures, and for her inclusive public monuments, Gatfield’s project relates to the public, the architecture, structures and infrastructures of the city, the area of Berlin Mitte and the L40 building, an iconic black maze designed by Cosima von Bonin and Roger Bundschuh, home of the Kunstverein am Rosa Luxemburg Platz.

Inside the foyer of the L40, The Muses vibrate, float and emerge from the space and reverberate meanings. The installation centers the eye on three monumental glass figures, shining outward from halos of soft white shaded edges, lightly held to the ground by an over one-hundred year old pine timber beam. They are shaped as ‘I’, as pure ancestral forms, as deeply rooted and recognised syntagms, as totemic figures.  ..." 

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Extended Reality

Alter Ego - Berlin Chapter II

Jan 2022. The virtual twin of the ancient kauri sculpture Native Tongue from Aotearoa NZ, is inaugurated in a city park in Berlin-Mitte in Chapter II of the solo show Alter Ego presented by Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz. The 3mH vitual sculpture manifests through the Metaverse, an urban intervention bringing spiritual and natural worlds into the city. Native Tongue XR is sited in the public green between the Kunstverein’s L40 gallery and the Volksbühne (the People’s Theatre) from 14 Jan. to 10 April, curated by Susanne Prinz, Head Curator and Director, Kunstverein and international curator Chiara Valci-Mazzara.

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Solo Exhibition Berlin

Alter Ego - Berlin Chapter I

Nov. 2021 - April 2022. Presented by Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in the iconic L40 building, Alter Ego comprises two parts: The Muses, a monumental crystal-glass sculpture in the Foyer gallery, and Native Tongue XR, a virtual reality ancient kauri spirit-figure in an adjacent public park. This solo exhibition in the cultural precinct of Berlin explores states of being and tension, through futuristic media and ancestral forms. During the four month presentation the ephemeral artworks are encountered in public space, engaging the human psyche and sensory realms in the chaotic and calm moments of the present tense. 

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SCAPE Public Art NZ

NZ Sculpture Exhibition

Nov. 2021. 'Sculpture & Art in Residence' curated by SCAPE Public Art presents leading NZ Aotearoa sculptors including Bill Culbert (1935-2019), Robert Jahnke, Brett Graham, Greer Twiss, Neil Dawson, and Sione Monū. Three artworks by Gill Gatfield are presented in this summer season highlight exhibition: Mirror Image, a glass mirage, in the elegant grounds of Studio 125 Gallery, and two abstract figures - Suffragette and Siren, inside.  Studio 125 Gallery, 125 Aikmans Rd. Merivale, Christchurch NZ.

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Critical Spatial Practice

At Metro Arts Gallery in Meanjin Brisbane a panel explores economic, cultural and political drivers behind project concepts in the exhibition 'Conversations on Shadow Architecture'. Nick Barker, professor of strategy and sustainability at Griffiths University opens the panel with a short talk, followed by Q&A with Clare Kennedy of architecture studio Five Mile Radius and exhibition curator Ineke Dane.

Australia Exhibition

Conversations on Shadow Architecture

Oct. 2021. In and beyond the frame of Critical Spatial Practice, Conversations on Shadow Architecture is presented by Metro Arts public gallery in Meanjin Brisbane Australia. Across two gallery spaces, the multidisciplinary exhibition presents work by international and Australian artists: Tarik Ahlip, Heba Y. Amin, Richard Bell, Lauren Brincat, Five Mile Radius, Gill Gatfield, Dale Harding, Fionnuala Heidenreich, HWKN, Simon James Phillips, Valentina Karga, Nicolas Kisic Aguirre, Anri Sala.

Curated by Ineke Dane | Supported by: Arts Queensland & Australia Council for the Arts
Image: Gill Gatfield, Multiple Choice (Carrara marble, Indian granite, 90mmH x 500mm Dia.)

Conversations on Shadow Architecture 2021 CATALOGUE 

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International Group show

Re-imaging Cultural, Social & Political Spaces

Presented first in Chicago, the arched glass Ally Sloper heads next to Australia along with the stone x-figure Multiple Choice recently featured at the 2021 Aotearoa Art Fair. These sculptures form part of the exhibition ‘Conversations on Shadow Architecture’ by curator Ineke Dane, opening in Brisbane in October and in Sydney next year. Artworks and texts by artists, architects and academics question and reimagine cultural, social and political spaces. Contributors include Indigenous Australian artists Dale Harding and Richard Bell, Berlin based Anri Sala, Heba Y. Amin and Valentina Karga, New York architects HWKN and Yale Professor Keller Easterling, a leading theorist on critical spatial practice.

Brisbane: METRO Arts, Opening 2 Oct– 30 Oct 2021 
Sydney: Dominik Mersch Gallery 27 May – 25 June 2022

Inclusive Monuments

Native Tongue XR at Storm King

In fading light at Storm King in upstate New York, one of the largest collections of outdoor sculpture in the world, a virtual Native Tongue stands beside Ursula von Rydingsvard’s Luba. Two bookends mapping human progress and geological time – Luba’s rough sawn cedar and cast bronze figure faces the silk-grained alter ego of an ancient kauri text, in extended reality, an Other I. In the wooded parkland, they made bookends also in abstraction – one fluid yet solid and dripping, the other formal and ephemeral, rising up from the ground.

An-other purpose arose from the 2019 staging. On the Storm King map, of 82 artists in the permanent collection including long-term loans, only fifteen artists were women – 18 percent. The transient companion witnessed another type of presence and absence, became a number to be counted, and in the making, momentarily nudged the proportion of womxn artists closer to 20 percent.

Image: Gatfield, Storm Queen 2020
(Ursula von Rydingsvard, Luba and Native Tongue XR - Storm King NY) 
limited edition photograph

Data: Gatfield, 'Inclusive Monuments' NZ Feminist Art Journal Femisphere Vol 4 2021

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