On the 26th August it was noticed that one of Hannah Andersen's artworks from her exhibition Food For Thought, in the Vero Centre was missing. This work, ironically, titled, Cheese Balls, is a soft sculpture/textile print. It is a double sided, oversized replication of a 'Cheese Balls' packet measuring 400 x 350mm. The work was installed by the escalators, and was exhibited sitting upon another work, Trolley Throne, in The Vero Centre Foyer area, Pierre Peeters Galleries permanent offsite exhibition space at 48 Shortland Street, Auckland CBD.
The security at the Vero Centre are aware and have been going through the CCTV footage - because the entire foyer area is supposed to be under 24/7 constant surveillance.
The situation worsened - when we discovered this week, on Wednesday 9th September that there has been another incident - this time - direct vandalism and desecration of Andersen's artwork. Someone or perhaps a few people must have jumped on the custom made / repurposed retro Cutlery Couch, because the red leather cushions were caving in and had been pushed in so much that they were completely indented and the springs beneath the couch were hanging out the bottom. The red leather cushions are cracking from the pressure caused by this act. The couch is a functional work of art: it functions as both a sculpture and as a couch, as a seat to SIT on. But it is definitely not made to be a trampoline to be BOUNCED on as the perpetrators have obviously done. The area looked like a tip - there was rubbish thrown on and around the installation.
Another art work was also vandalised at this time - a small platter of hand-made wax chips - replica Mc Donald's chips had been completely destroyed. The small delicate wax chips had been flattened , smooched, squashed, trampled and thrown everywhere. These works all took the artist a very long time to make. Andersen had been working towards this solo exhibition, making all the different installation components for at least the last two years.
Anish Kapoor's installation at the Château de Versailles was vandalised last weekend for the second time. The contemporary sculpture, titled Dirty Corner this time with anti Semitic slogans. Kapoor comments, "Artistic violence is generative, political violence destructive. Artistic violence may scream at the tradition of previous generations", such as Hannah's artwork which seeks to subvert conventional art production and sale and bridge the gap between capitalism and art, and form new connections for us between art and product and our relationship with this.
Hannah Andersen is a young emerging New Zealand artist, this was her first solo exhibition after graduating from UoA Elam school of Fine Arts in 2014. Andersen's work has received much positive feedback. Her work is provocative, sexy and playful, it is a critique on the aesthetics of consumerism, mass production, globalisation and excess. The work is supposed to give people a smile and spur the imagination and give them more to think about than their daily mundane office job. It is a shame that some people think that they have the right to touch property that is not theirs, and to steal, vandalise and desecrate art. Art is taking nothing and making it into something to give back to the world. What can be wrong with such creative altruism?
These objects of capitalist desire obviously are very successful at what they set out to do - though the desire took a sour turn when it was turned into an act of theft and vandalism.
We would appreciate the safe return of the stolen artwork and anyone who knows anything about the theft, vandalism and desecration to please contact us at Pierre Peeters Galleries - 027 202 8404 / 021 066 6569 or 09 377 4832 or firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com