press release

"The big visual arts show of the festival and possibly the year…" - Metro magazine

"Today in the West we are more obsessed with Children and more confused than ever about childhood than ever before." - Sarah Gibson

Childhood is a big area for art. Mixed-up Childhood looks at the ways contemporary artists from all over the world have exemplified, explored and critiqued prevailing attitudes to childhood. Works in the show address traditional commonsense representations of childhood: the natural child, the wild child, the child as monster, the embryo adult. They explore the lived experiences of childhood: its spaces, props, practices. They excavate childhood memories, and invent fanciful pasts. They challenge the compartmentalisation of "childhood" and "adulthood", or insist on it. And more. The show is in no way systematic or conclusive. And while the contrary views presented might seem to cancel one another out, they also illuminate the complexity of our thinking about childhood; demonstrating that ideas of childhood are contrived, contested and conflicted - in short, "mixed-up".

Facts and fictions collide in this provocative new exhibition. Mixed-up Childhood considers the way childhood is represented and revisited in the work of artists from all over the world. Studded with big names, some seen in New Zealand for the first time, the line up includes AES+F (Russia), Morton Bartlett (USA), Christian Boltanski (France), Louise Bourgeois (France/USA), Jake & Dinos Chapman (England), Henry Darger (USA), Mikala Dwyer (Australia), Anthony Goicolea (USA), Robert Gober (USA), Gavin Hurley (NZ), Richard Killeen (NZ), Mike Kelley (USA), Mary Kelly (England / USA), Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin (Netherlands), Loretta Lux (Germany), Paul McCarthy (USA), Sally Mann (USA), Shintaro Miyake (Japan) Steven Meisel (USA), Tracey Moffatt (Australia), Gregor Nicholas (NZ), Grayson Perry (England), Yvonne Todd (NZ), and Sima Urale (NZ / Samoa). Visiting Japanese performance artist Shintaro Miyake will create drawings in situ dressed as a teddybear 24 - 27 February.

This exhibition contains some works which are suitable for adults only. Children will be admitted only when accompanied by an adult.

Catalogue Mixed-Up Childhood is supported by a major catalogue. Co-written by Robert Leonard and Janita Craw it includes writing and full colour plates on each artist, plus opinion pieces by James Kincaid, Helen May, Alison Jones and Barbara Creed


only in german

Mixed-Up Childhood
an exhibition for grown-ups

mit AES+F, Morton Bartlett, Christian Boltanski, Louise Bourgeois, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Henry Darger, Mikala Dwyer, Anthony Goicolea, Robert Gober, Gavin Hurley, Richard Killeen, Mike Kelley, Mary Kelly, Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Loretta Lux, Paul McCarthy, Sally Mann, Shintaro Miyake, Steven Meisel, Tracey Moffatt, Gregor Nicholas, Grayson Perry, Yvonne Todd, Sima Urale