We pay export prices for fresh food that we produce. An avocado is now an investment & frozen food’s cheaper than fresh. Our two supermarket chains have ceased to compete and found ways to “add value” to one of the last unprocessed things in our lives. Someone’s making a lot of money out of what goes from our fields to our tables. And now our government wants to regulate farmers markets, the last chink in the wall, the last way we can meet the people who actually grow the food we eat. Who is this government? What do they eat?
For every creative leap there are hundreds of stumbles. But sometimes you make and make and make and at the end of it all everything you’ve made still needs work. So do you stop? Or do you nag yourself to keep on going?
Based around five years of obsessive daily to-do lists; constructed of ancient timber from a defunct mental institution and some very tricky wiring; set to a soundtrack on a gramophone and entirely powered by vintage racing bicycles, Nag mixes obsession, sweat, light, text, visual art, implicit statistical failure and humour into a coherent whole.
Presented by previous Fringe Visual Art award winners afterburner as part of The Performance Arcade 2011, Nag is an installation powered by the artists themselves that focuses on creative self-propulsion and takes sustainability to a bizarre and kafkaesque level. Nag first premiered in Fringe 2010, was nominated for best in both Visual Art and Design, and has since been re-engineered, redesigned and rebuilt to be more efficient and less prone to catching fire.
During the day Nag uses it’s mix of vintage technology and electronics to explore the obsessive desire to create, and during the afternoon and evening the artists will use the installation itself as a studio to produce and produce and produce non-stop, and even to create things for their audience. All the while riding vintage bicycles to power the installation and their equipment, and so running the risk of failure if they slow down.
Ceaseless self-propulsion being one way to deal with projects that never finish, with drawings that never look right, with ideas that go nowhere. Don’t examine. Don’t slow down. Just nag yourself to make and make and make and make.
The Performance Arcade
On the sea-side of Te Papa