'The white cube.' It's copped a lot of artcritophilostorical flak over the past couple of decades. Ever since, in fact, Brian O'Doherty wrote his still wonderful series of essays gathered in the book Inside the White Cube. (Haven't read it? Do.)
For some critics, the white cube's the fossil of an outdated modernist idealism. For others it's an insidious camouflage for vested interests and (grr, boo) elitist values. For still others it's a sterile symbol of all that's wrong with a money-mad, clean-freak, cloistered-from-reality art world.
And when you've just staggered out of one of those ultra-intimidating high-end dealer galleries, where the front desk is all but fortified and you can almost see your breath frosting, it can be hard not to agree.
However, when your own white cubes have been shut down for a good long while by an earthquake, and when the demolition or closure of just about everything has made clean well-lighted spaces incredibly hard to find, and when you're wearying a little of having to ensure that everything you exhibit in Christchurch is weather-proof, the sight of some clean white walls means something a good deal simpler. It means that you may soon be showing some art inside.
So it warmed this curator's heart to see Chris and Scott in our soon-to-open space at 209 Tuam Street, sending some freshly plastered walls into the white. Ten minutes, ten refreshments of the roller, and voila. It'll be good to see some art in there soon (mark March 21 as the date), but in the meantime we're glad to watch some paint dry.