Skip to main content
Menu Close
A
platform
for
contemporary
art

13 February 2010 —
11 April 2010

Unpacking My Library

The Estate of L. Budd, The full archive of extant works from The Estate of L.Budd (installation view). Mixed media. Courtesy of The Estate of L. Budd in association with Michael Lett, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
The Estate of L. Budd, The full archive of extant works from The Estate of L.Budd (installation view). Mixed media. Courtesy of The Estate of L. Budd in association with Michael Lett, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
The Estate of L. Budd, The full archive of extant works from The Estate of L.Budd (installation view). Mixed media. Courtesy of The Estate of L. Budd in association with Michael Lett, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Dan Arps, 2010 (installation view). Courtesy of Michael Lett, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Dan Arps, 2010 (installation view). Courtesy of Michael Lett, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Xin Cheng, Reading Room: Some of My Favourite Library Books, 2010 (installation view). Found books. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Daniel Malone, Black Market Next to My Name: From Warsaw, From Memory, 2007– (installation view). Marker pen on wall. Courtesy of Sue Crockford Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Daniel Malone, Black Market Next to My Name: From Warsaw, From Memory, 2007– (detail). Marker pen on wall. Courtesy of Sue Crockford Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Bill Culbert, selected photographs, 1976-1992 (installation view). Black and white photographs. Courtesy of Sue Crockford Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Ann Shelton, From the F.B. Butler Collection, Frances and Sereena Burton, Thames, 2006 (installation view). Digital video, LCD screens set into wall. Courtesy of Starkwhite, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Ann Shelton, From the F.B. Butler Collection, Frances and Sereena Burton, Thames, 2006 (detail). Digital video, LCD screens set into wall. Courtesy of Starkwhite, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Elizabeth McAlpine, Found Time: Big Ben, 2007– (installation view). Found postcards, perspex. Courtesy of Laura Bartnett Gallery, London. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Elizabeth McAlpine, Found Time: Big Ben, 2007– (detail). Found postcards, perspex. Courtesy of Laura Bartnett Gallery, London. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Unpacking My Library, 2010 (installation view). Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Peter Madden, The future will arrive out of tomorrow, 1998-2004 (installation view). Eighty 35mm slides on timer, rear projected onto screen. Courtesy of Michael Lett, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Neil Pardington, Land and Marine Mammal Store, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2006 (installation view). LED/C-Print, triptych. Courtesy of Nadine Milne Gallery, Queenstown. Photo by Sam Hartnett.

/

Unpacking My Library considers the act of collecting. Utilising twentieth-century media theorist Walter Benjamin's text of the same title as a point of departure, Unpacking My Library seeks out expanded approaches to collecting. Like Benjamin's text, the exhibition takes interest in the process of collecting, as much as the content of a collection. Reflecting on his own library, Benjamin draws upon his obsession with collecting books in order to unpack the psychological drives of the collector. He argues that in a detailed collection certain traits of the collector will be revealed. His invitation into his unpacked library is an invitation to enter a collector's mind – to dwell upon what the order and disorder of collections reveals about their gatherers.

The exhibition presents both artists who actively explore collecting as a daily practice and artists who reflect on pre-existing systems of collating and organising objects. Firmly rooted in this former investigation is London based artist Elizabeth McAlpine whose ongoing project Found Time: Big Ben attempts to represent every minute of a twelve hour period through existing postcards of Big Ben. Works that analyse pre-existing collections include Ann Shelton's studies of the Fredrick Butler Archive, Neil Pardington's analysis of public art gallery collections and The Estate of L. Budd as a self-reflective archive, which appropriates the language and the rhetoric of institutional models. For the first time the entire contents of The Estate of L. Budd will be housed in a single gallery which will become a storeroom for a collection still approaching completion.

Download

Media release – Unpacking My Library and Jeremy Leatinu’u, 2010
Exhibition poster – Unpacking My Library, 2010