[Sait Akkirman: Arts Diary]
The purpose of this post is not to draw attention to these beautiful images of the opening of Lugosi's Children by Sait Akkirman at Artsdiary.co.nz (though I certainly recommend that you visit his amazing site).
Actually it's to advertise a Saturday event in the Objectspace public programme:
Dr Jenny Lawn & Dr Jack Ross
Saturday 24 September, 11 am - 12 noon.
A discussion of the gothic as a recurring theme in contemporary New Zealand film, literature and art.
Here's Jenny at the opening:
[Sait Akkirman: Jenny Lawn & Olivia]
& here's me on the far side of the table (glass in hand, as usual):
[Sait Akkirman: Jack & Shelley Norton]
We're planning to discuss Jenny's Gothic course, which she's been teaching at Massey Albany now for almost ten years; also the anthology she co-edited with Misha Kavka & Mary Paul, Gothic NZ: The Darker Side of Kiwi Culture (Dunedin: Otago University Press, 2006):
After that we'll be throwing things open to the audience, I think: just why is this "darker side" of things so dominant in Kiwi culture? Is it simply that we see what we want to see? That we create this "trend" by imposing it on a lot of diverse and value-neutral materials? Or is there really some deeper fear or malaise within our society which manifests itself in this way?
Is it just that we lack a sense of the numinous and supernatural in our surface-obsessed official culture? As Jenny once put it, "Vampires don't wear shorts" ...
Is it, in the final analysis, a European fear of the depths and mysteries of the indigenous culture of these islands which masks itself under these Gothic tropes?
Come along, if you're curious to hear more. And be sure to leave a question for the Oracle when you do. It will be answered within seven days ...
[Sait Akkirman: The Oracles]