This Might Be The Place

3 May - 1 June 2017

How do artists look at places they’ve called home? What are the stories they can tell that others cannot? And how do photography and film support and complicate their mission? Bringing together lens-based works by three contemporary artists, This Might Be The Place explores and extends upon the conventional answers to these questions.

Emil McAvoy, Caroline McQuarrie and Johanna Mechen visually mine Lower Hutt, Hamilton and the South Island’s West Coast respectively, conjuring archaeologies and micro-histories that are woven in fact and fiction, and that fluctuate between the real, imagined, and reconstructed. While their works appear documentary-like in nature, these artists choose to interrogate and question not only these places, but also the media of photography and film. Like the exhibition’s uncertain title (its more assured alternative, This Must Be The Place, has already been called into play for several exhibitions of place-based photography), their works provoke viewers to consider how alternative perspectives might change our impression of the places we think we know, and the mechanisms we’ve traditionally trusted to capture them.

Alice Tappenden is a Wellington-based writer and curator. She holds a BFA in Photography from the Ilam School of Fine Arts and an MA in Art History from Victoria University of Wellington. In 2016 she was the Blumhardt Curatorial Intern at The Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt.