Ivan Anthony Gallery, Auckland
20 September - 14 October 2017
A (not very serious) report by Geoffrey H. Short, 13 October, 2017.
The exhibition consists of five works: three human figures, one landscape, and one still life.
My first thought upon walking through the unapologetically awkward rooms in the west wing of the Ivan Anthony Gallery was that this show is vintage Todd. The three large, heroic portrait works that dominate the show could be enlarged pages of an Ezibuy catalogue from a parallel universe. The very large prints from 8 x 10 inch film offer maximum information about the surface texture of the figures, every hanging thread and bizarrely mascaraed eyelash is described in minute detail and yet, as ever in Todd's work, the pictures remain utterly mysterious.
Searching for further analogies, I moved on from Ezibuy to Star Trek (the original series of-course, betraying my own vintage). These three mysterious women could be guest stars on that show, carefully documented by the costume department before they go on set to be saved, kissed or killed by Captain Kirk. The crew of the USS Enterprise were always encountering sophisticated civlizations with unusual dress sense, and the hand gesture of ‘Lark’ is on the way to being a Vulcan greeting. I think I’ve cracked it: Yvonne Todd is mining a 1960’s vision of the 23rd century. In the misquoted words of Dr McCoy: “Its life, Jim, but not as we know it”.1
1. I distinctly remember this line of dialogue from the TV series, but the internet says it never happened.