Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
394Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
I visited the Auckland Art Gallery the other day with a 'Lisa' from North Dakota. I had bumped in to her in the Base reception on my way out that morning. She was a keen art enthusiast and suggested it would be very interesting. To be honest, I have never really given visiting an art gallery much consideration before but I am so glad I went. What a amazing experience. The afternoon was split in to two main areas really:- The more 'modern art' which consisted of four finalists competing for 'The Walters Prize' and the more 'traditional art' which was housed in an older building across the road. As I'm not a keen 'art-goer' I can honestly say I didn't really understand the modern stuff, though I do appreciate that it's all good in it's own way or to it's own audience. I just don't understand how a full scale life-like model of a gentleman in a tracksuit lying dead on the floor beneath a sign saying 'I have stopped trying' can hold such enormous appeal, though I can see what it symbolises.
The other building however was a very different experience and I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute. There were dozens of paintings and sculptures and various other artforms that held my attention for a good few hours. What particularly fascinated me was a 'non-dialogue' visual demonstration called 'Soliloquy' by an Iranian born American woman called 'Shirin Neshat'. I've never experienced anything quite like it. It was trying to demonstrate how the perception of an Islamic woman can compare in two very different cities from the perpective of one that holds a love for both. It was a short seventeen minute film that was played on two screens simultaneously on separate walls at opposing ends of the room. Each screen showed film completely independently of the other, yet followed the same story. It was 'up to you' which screen you watched and it soon became quite natural to turn your head to see the other screen every few seconds or so to get the other perspective. Interestingly, if you were to watch it a second time you would not see the same film. Very interesting and very effective, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The next morning I ventured over by bus to Auckland Zoo with 'Inger from Sfeeden'. The weather was good making the trip very pleasant and on the whole, made a great day. I became absolutely besotted with the dog/rabbit/guinea pig fusion mammal thing called the 'Mara'. It really did fascinate me. Apparently, it's a rodent that supposedly looks like a deer with long ears and is commonly found residing on the plains and scrubland of Argentina. It was resting it's head very comfortably like a dog would beside a fire, yet had very strong powerful back legs like a hare would have and the front of it's mouth resembled that of a guinea pig. It was most unusual.
I managed to register my IRD application and also opened a bank account. They actually have 'bank charges' here!
I met up with Nate later as I had previously booked booked myself a Skyjump and Harbour bridge Bungy. He was enthusiastically telling me how 'cool' it was to triple back flip off the bridge in order to get a better head rush. Okay, great. I can just see myself now sitting on the edge of the bridge tightly gripped, gently shuffling my back-side over the edge - eyes tightly shut.
Yep, still pondering the leap of doom!