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Isolation is something we have recently experienced. Like many generations before us we have felt the anxieties of being in the midst of a plague. We have sought ways to counter fear, apprehension, loneliness, separations and have been plunged into private diversions and distractions to wait out time. We have come to realise that all that was solid, everything we counted on, and took for granted – work, leisure, travel, society, even family – might melt away or fracture; that things are mutable, apt to change and that we must adapt if we are to thrive in these new circumstances.

All That Was Solid Melts takes us on a journey from isolation through the multiple anxieties of life and catastrophe, something New Zealanders are particularly familiar with, and along the way offers moments of historical sympathy, solace, and discovery. When finally, we step beyond the itinerary we will have travelled through metaphors and emotions, realising that we too are simply passing through time which is but a small moment in a longer plan; that we are but a spec in the cosmos; that things come before and will come after our moment; that we will be deconstructed to reconstruct ourselves.

Explore major works by some of the world’s leading contemporary names such as Pipilotti Rist, Tacita Dean, Pierre Huyghe, Douglas Gordon, Katie Paterson and many more.

Joined by historical works of significance from Auckland Art Gallery’s collection, including the stunning etchings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, and pieces from modernist Paul Nash, this is a rich trans-historical exhibition curated by Senior Curator Global Contemporary Art, Juliana Engberg.

Travel through time, ruins and fragmentations in which life and humanity are once again reasserted, emerging as resilient, rejuvenated, and set free from worry.

When: Saturday 5 June 2021 to Sunday 10 October 2021
10am–5pm daily
10am–9pm Fridays

All That Was Solid Melts

Image credit: Douglas GordonPrivate Passions, 2011. Care of Studio lost but found / Douglas Gordon / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2021. Image courtesy the artist

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Last updated: 21 May 2021