Saturday, February 6

apartamento captures charisma

American writer Glenn O'Brien's apartment
English musician Florence Welch's home

Apartamento is a wonderful interior style (and life style) magazine that I would love to write for someday. Above is two short films from a collaboration they did with Nowness. Each film features charismatic interviews and footage taken inside the homes of beautifully spoken and slightly eccentric celebrities.


Sunday, January 24

kane on the "dunedin music scene" [tw]

Like a lot of people who have remained quiet in the past, I haven’t said how I truly feel about the music scene that I have been a part of since high school because I did not want to become isolated from it. Lately I have realised that the scene in its current form is something that I want to become more and more removed from each day.

Now is not a golden era for Dunedin music. Was the music scene I have experienced for the last four or so years a golden era? No. The 80s and early 90s was not a golden era. There has never been a golden era because there has never been a safe label, a safe venue or a safe radio station in this town, at any point in time. For me, the “Dunedin Sound” that I will remember is the sound of hopeless cries falling on deaf ears.

This is a scene where abusers are given the power to employ other abusers. A scene that has supported and continues to support bad people who don’t know when to apologise/quit. When these people aren’t being supported, you can often find them being celebrated, glamourised.

I’d like to make it clear that there certainly is beautiful music being made here by inspiring people.. that is almost the problem. It’s so unique and world renowned that people are all-too-easily distracted from what is actually going on around it.

I worked in hospitality for years and was recently thinking about how intense the hygiene programme is that the DCC has in place. You better believe that I know how hot re-heated rice needs to be, I had to write it into a book every shift. Yet would anyone know what to do if a sexual assault were to occur on the premises? Hell no. How can we have a complex rating system for food safety but no plan whatsoever if someone is being made to feel unsafe by an abuser inside our venues? Surely this is a good place to start.

Wednesday, January 20

travelling fragments

Incredibly happy for my no. 1 inspiration (my mother) whose show, Fragments of a World, travelled to Michael Lett's (in Auckland) and opened today. So excited by the artists in this show and that more people can now experience it. I am such a fan of it all that I even explored it further in a piece for Pantograph Punch.


Saturday, January 16

blue cheese is released!

It has been announced! Thanks to Ba Da Bing records in New York and Flying Nun, Kane Strang's Blue Cheese is available on LP and CD. With two additional songs to lengthen his initially self released album, listeners now have more time to experience this jangly pop joy ride.


Thursday, December 31

neapolitan novels

Image from My Brilliant Friend's cover.

Like the inside of Vesuvius over time, life angrily bubbles, explodes and steadies itself again in the four books of the Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante (a pen name, the author has kept her identity hidden). This ferocious, rich life is sewn together by beautiful writing that is often striking in its description and thoughtfulness. Although much raved about already in the literary world, I have just powered through the series in several days and wish to add my small voice to the litany of praises for Ferrante's writing. 

Elena Greco, the novels' educated and charming narrator, takes us through her impoverished upbringing in a small, constantly gossiping neighbourhood in Naples, her later interactions and experiences with intellectual and bourgeois Italians and her turbulent traversing between these starkly different social worlds. 

Central to this story and what Greco seems to be constantly trying to decipher is the friendship and workings of her childhood friend, Lila Cerullo. Greco is entranced by her friend who never made it past middle school but who had a brilliance that surpassed everyone -- she taught herself Latin and Greek before Greco even went to university, the neighbourhood always simultaneously respected and cursed her. Every important move by Greco seems to be triggered by an interaction with Cerullo although Cerullo never leaves Naples while Greco travels and moves frequently after high school. But Greco maintains a lingering uneasiness towards Cerullo -- she appears to make conclusive remarks about Cerullo's personality, then changes them later. Cerullo is unsolvable. Greco loves her friend but, as other characters point out to her, their is also a thread of hate that runs through their relationship. The pain and love in their friendship throughout the two characters' entire lives is beautifully captured.

Described by Greco as either crucial events or for background context are constant conflicts and changes in Italian politics, family violence, the feminist movement, the past and present generations. But I felt like Ferrante had not set out to create constant twists or deceive us. Instead, her writing seemed more explorative, reflective. Greco's observations were also not totally reliable -- in an attempt to validate and reaffirm who she was and the decisions she made it sometimes felt like she was trying to convince the reader of something (as well as herself).

Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels are, in the best sense of the word, suffocating. They are the kind of novels that compel you to resist coming up for air, to submit to a narrative that makes your own life seem like a distant sub-plot -- something to pay attention to only when you need to eat, sleep.

Here's to Ferrante & the last day of 2015!


Thursday, December 3

interior histories

I have written a new piece for Pantograph Punch! This time I look into a show my mother recently curated for the Adam Art Gallery in Wellington & some history/context surrounding the featured artists. So thrilled to have had this opportunity.