Curator and art critic, Ian Wedde, discusses the exhibition, Unseen City, and art-making in the 1960s with filmmaker Rodney Charters and photographer Gary Baigent.
Charters' contribution to the Unseen City exhibition is Film Exercise, which he made as a second-year student at Elam art school. It’s not only his first film, it’s probably the first film ever made at the school. Film Exercise earned Charters a place in the new film school at London’s Royal College, where Robert Ellis had trained. He went on to become a Hollywood cinematographer.
Printed on cheap, uncoated paper, which flattened contrast and suppressed detail, Baigent's 1967 photobook, The Unseen City: 123 Photographs of Auckland, was criticised for its careless photography and production, especially by other photographers. But, today, everything about the book seems classic — perfect for Baigent’s vision. In the 1970s, street photography would become a dominant idiom in New Zealand art photography. But Baigent got in early.
Sunday 14 June, 2pm