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07 October 2006 —
29 November 2006

Sweet Punch:
recent Nordic video

'Sweet Punch: recent Nordic video' showcases moving image work from Finland and Sweden. Moving between social realism and theatrical performance, the videos in this show document real events and people.

Finnish artist group Tellervo Kalleinen and Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen collaborated with the citizens of Birmingham to make the DVD projection The 1st Complaints Choir of Birmingham (2005), in which participants complaints about their city are transformed into a feel-good singalong anthem. Pugnae Spectaculum (2002), by Swedish artists Vanna Bowles and Robert Johansson, also records a performance, but of a very different intensity—a fiercely fought boxing match between the artists themselves.

Finnish artist Gun Holmström's two documentaries facilitate intimate exchanges of personal information, recording the ordinary, yet compelling stories of people close to her. Also from Finland, Raakel Kuukka uses the camera to document in micro; depicting in detail the enthusiastic activity of a middle-aged drummer.

The artists in 'Sweet Punch' can be seen to all take emotion and relationships as their raw material, whether it is through pleasure or pain. From the public masochism of Pugnae Spectaculum to the gleeful bonding of The 1st Complaints Choir of Birmingham, 'Sweet Punch' presents work which privileges communication over announcement and engagement over retreat. The emotions displayed range from joyous to meditative to heartfelt and painful, but all offer an honesty of approach and style.

A partnership project between Te Tuhi, Manukau and The Physics Room, Christchurch. 'Sweet Punch' is accompanied by an exhibition catalogue published by Te Tuhi and The Physics Room with assistance from FRAME-FUND, Helsinki. The initial research for this exhibition was undertaken with funding assistance from the Nordic Institute of Contemporary Art.