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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Zoe Butt on the Challenges and Rewards of Curating Ocula Conversation Zoe Butt on the Challenges and Rewards of Curating

Zoe Butt is the artistic director of The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, the first purpose-built space for contemporary art in Vietnam. Founded in March 2016, the Centre was designed by HTAP Architects in an old steel warehouse, with cargo shipping containers added to its structure. Initiated as a social enterprise...

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Ocula 报告|Condo Shanghai 2019 展览看点 Ocula Report Ocula 报告|Condo Shanghai 2019 展览看点 11 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

即将于2019年7月13开幕的第二届 Condo Shanghai,联合上海7座画廊/艺术机构与14 家来自全球11个不同的城市,如东京、首尔、雅加达、巴尔的摩、洛杉矶、伦敦、纽约、危地马拉城、利马和墨西哥城,为实验性展览营造了一个更切实可行的国际环境。以下是Ocula的展览看点。周奥,《景观/对象WA》(2016)。橡木上固化油墨打印,左: 55.88 × 147.32 cm,中: 121.92 × 152.4 cm,右: 55.88 × 147.32 cm,图片提供:马凌画廊,上海。马凌画廊 × 80m2 Livia Benavides × LABOR × Proyectos Ultravioleta马凌画廊 |...

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Michael Stevenson

b. 1964

Michael Stevenson is known for his large-scale sculptural installations, although his practice also encompasses other media including film, printmaking and book publishing. Based in Berlin since 2000, he was born in the small town of Inglewood and graduated from Auckland's Elam School of Fine Arts in 1986. At the heart of Stevenson's practice is the concept of the proxy or surrogate. Based on detailed historical research and often centring on a sculptural reconstruction of a historical artefact, his works identify localised manifestations of broad ideological, political and economic forces. They focus on how such forces become visible and tangible: how they take shape, and take effect in local situations.

Stevenson has exhibited widely, and the subjects of his work range across late twentieth-century political histories. He represented New Zealand at the 50th Venice Biennale (12 June-2 November 2003) with This is the Trekka (2003), an installation addressing colonial and Cold War influences on New Zealand nationalism. The Fountain of Prosperity (2006, coll. MoMA New York) was first exhibited at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (28 November 2006-24 February 2007), and examines international corporate control of the Guatemalan banana industry. Persepolis 2530 (2007), which investigates a moment in the build-up to the Iranian Revolution, was exhibited at Art Unlimited, Art Basel 38 (13¬-17 June 2007) and Arnolfini, Bristol (2 February-30 March 2008). Stevenson has also exhibited at the Tate Modern, London, Witte de With, Rotterdam, The Power Plant, Toronto, and the Sculpture Center, New York, as well as biennials in Berlin, Panama, Athens, Liverpool, Sydney and Auckland. The survey exhibition Michael Stevenson was held at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, 6 April-19 June 2011.

A series of works Stevenson produced between 2008-12 were set in Panama during the 1970s, and adopted the view of a key witness to political events: 'Chuchú' Martínez was pilot, aide and bodyguard to Panama's leftist dictator Omar Torrijos. Perhaps more clearly than any other work, A Life of Crudity, Vulgarity, and Blindness (Portikus, Frankfurt, 29 September-2 December 2012) linked Stevenson's signature use of the sculptural double, or proxy, to a technical process of constructing visibility. Stevenson transformed Portikus into a building-sized camera obscura. He installed a large-scale sculptural model of Chuchú's Cessna 185 aeroplane in the gallery's brightly daylit attic, which the camera obscura mechanism then projected as a fragile analogue image into the darkened exhibition hall two floors below. A Life of Crudity offered the camera obscura as a poetic analogy for the covert forces determining the political fate of Panama and its leader, as well as an examination of the possibility and limitations of vision itself.

Anna Parlane | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Modern Nature at Michael Lett, Auckland
14 May–15 June 2019 Group Exhibition Modern Nature Michael Lett, Auckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Michael Stevenson, Inside the Keep Out Shed at Michael Lett, Auckland
4 October–4 November 2017 Michael Stevenson Inside the Keep Out Shed Michael Lett, Auckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Group exhibition, Group exhibition at Michael Lett, Auckland
29 July–22 August 2015 Group exhibition Group exhibition Michael Lett, Auckland

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Michael Stevenson Ocula Conversation
in partnership with the 21st Biennale of Sydney
Michael Stevenson Artist

At the centre of Michael Stevenson's art practice is a sustained investigation into objects that give form and physical expression to broad ideological, economic and political forces. The New Zealand-born, Berlin-based artist is known as a maker of detailed research-based sculptural installations. With characteristic dry wit and an acute eye for...

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In Related Press

Other Elsewheres: New Zealand at the Venice Biennale Related Press Other Elsewheres: New Zealand at the Venice Biennale The Pantograph Punch : 12 June 2015

New Zealand's official platform at the Venice Biennale began in 2001, and our formal representation was arguably already overdue at this point. There had been anomalous instances of New Zealanders exhibiting at the Biennale: Frances Hodgkins (she was meant to be in a group show representing Britain, though this was never realised because of World...

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