Olyvia Hong

Assume Order

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'Assume Order' (installation view), 2019, plaster casts of hands, resin casts of apples, found sheets of old Elam studio walls, hand-made steel stools, tape, perspex sheets, OHP prints, PVA glue sheet, Madame Clicquot bottle caps, UoA VC quotes printed on bricks, bronze cast apple, wax, hammer head with found American Express tag, magnets, chicken wire, mirrored perspex, 3D printed segment of a roller coaster model, copper wire, how-to-draw Mona Lisa print, graph paper, found book titled "Engineering Risk".
“To fully join the supercommunity that is the art field, artists must acknowledge that their labor is not exceptional in its support of and exploitation by a multi-billion dollar industry, while simultaneously putting their exceptionality to work by engaging their own labor on political terms, and as a political act.”
— Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E)

Negotiating the relationship between political activism and a material practice is the underlying concern for this body of work. What initially sparked this interest was the students' collective action in opposing the University of Auckland’s decision to close three specialist creative arts libraries. The events highlighted structures of power within the University and the violence associated with institutional bureaucracy.

Self- and collective organisation catalysed a process of unlearning and in turn, learning what it means to be a student at a contemporary art academy. In theory, this involved interrogating some of the economic structures of art as relating to education.

This body of work plays off of performed actions, emphasising objects as 'material traces'. Forms are exposed and repeated through casting; found materials are manipulated and re-appropriated and objects are left unfinished and in precarious states. These material traces are not only from real life accounts surrounding the library closures, but of memories, dreams and fictions that are loosely connected to each other through the common theme of resistance.

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