Wellington Media Collective
We Will Work With You! Wellington Media Collective 1978-1998
curated by the Wellington Media Collective with Adam Art Gallery
22 October 2012 – 10 February 2013
The Wellington Media Collective was established in 1978 as a confederation of graphic designers, printers, photographers, and associates. Underpinned by a belief in the power of media arts to intervene in social space, their activities over two decades involved the production of posters, magazines, catalogues, and leaflets for community and political groups, ranging from trade unions to arts and activist organisations. This retrospective exhibition examined the politics of style implicit in the Collective’s substantial body of graphic work, and through this lens, surveyed a history of public culture in Wellington and New Zealand. The Collective’s graphic archives interweave a story of political activism with a cultural history of performance and art, both located against a changing economic environment, new networks of distribution and communication, and the technological shift from page to screen. Comprising original prints, posters, publications and ephemeral material, as well as oral histories provided by members of the Collective, the exhibition drew on an archival project undertaken in collaboration with the Alexander Turnbull Library and the Department of Museum and Heritage Studies, Victoria University of Wellington.
The exhibition was accompanied by an illustrated catalogue published by Victoria University Press in 2013. It features contributions from Polly Cantlon, Jean Clarkson, Emory Douglas, Mary Ellen O’Connor, Flor De Lis Lopez Hernandez and Xavier Mead.
This exhibition was staged concurrently with Martha Rosler, The Bowery in Two Inadequate Descriptive Systems and The Consumers of the Future.