MAKING SPACE celebrates collaborative creative practice taking place in Aotearoa New Zealand today.
Taking place in the heart of Ōtautahi Christchurch – where collaboration and collective working has become a part of the fabric of this post-earthquake city – MAKING SPACE involves six diverse artist collectives and over 30 individuals practising at the cutting-edge of the Aotearoa New Zealand art community.
Collectives often form around a common need for space, whether that space is physical, conceptual or cultural. In 2017, space for engaging with contemporary art and culture is at a premium – particularly in regenerating Ōtautahi Christchurch. This exhibition brings together six Aotearoa New Zealand-based collectives who have all been actively creating spaces, for themselves and/or their communities, in the past five years. For the duration of MAKING SPACE, CoCA will dedicate its tangible and intangible spaces to their work, becoming a place to make — art, conversation, critical discourse and social connections.

MAKING SPACE encourages the exploration of the contexts and motivations for collaborative practices in Aotearoa today. Collectives FAFSWAG, FIKA Writers, Fresh and Fruity, Mata Aho Collective, SaVAge K’lub and The Social were invited mid-2016 to consider the premise of an exhibition of collective practices and to put forward proposals to show existing artworks, interactive installations, and live performances. As conversations have developed, some of the collectives have also chosen to host and occupy; creating studio space, as well as leading events, residencies and workshops inside and outside of the gallery.

MAKING SPACE encourages community. The collectives’ methodology is varied; whether it’s two or ten immediate members of the collective, or connections rippling out into the wider whānau (family), they pull together and expand potentials. The pooling of resources, ideas and energy allows the collective to flourish where an individual might not. Their support for each other creates rich spaces for creative and critical exploration, offering opportunities to shift how we view art, and pushing art’s potential for social change.

The way the exhibition will unfold is unpredictable. It sees the convergence of a multiplicity of voices, both discordant and harmonious. Beginning with a closed, artist-led [fono/noho/gathering] of all the collectives in the gallery, and a co-created opening event, the exhibition will continue to develop and change throughout its duration. Contributions may be added or taken away. Live events will be a core component.

Curated by Khye Hitchcock


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