Sometimes a kiss is… not just a kiss (2006)

Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington
6–23 September 2006

Sometimes a kiss… is not just a kiss is a visually seductive body of work: fetishistic, slippery and elusive, as it manoeuvres its way through the peripheral zones of overlapping gender codes, counter colonisations and the destabilisation of boundaries between notions of masculinity and femininity.

Perched atop an almost-invisible gyrating mechanical bull, the two protagonists are slowed down and accompanied by Hayden’s Cello Concerto (No.2 in D major) with Jacqueline du Pré on cello. Like the unseen cello, the mechanical bull is held firmly between the legs of the performers.

Playing on a wall-mounted monitor on the opposite wall is a split screen video consisting of a montage of film footage that conflates and problematises notions of mediatised masculinity and femininity.

Powder pink satin curtains bathe the gallery in a soft pink glow. And on the floor is a piece of furniture – or is it? An upholstered pink pouf with a gurgling water fountain serenely ejaculates in time with the music. It’s pretty and alluring but try sitting on it – you want to, but you can’t without getting a wet patch.

Installation consisting of two videos, a sculptural object (fountain-pouf), and pink satin curtains:
Single channel, split screen, HD video projection, 16 minutes 50 seconds
Single channel, split screen, SD video, played on wall-mounted flat screen monitor, no sound, 3 minutes 10 seconds
Eroticised pouf object with water fountain

Powder Pink and Sky Blue Dreamland
Rob Garret

Sometimes a kiss is… not just a kiss
Thomasin Sleigh

‘Bull rider’ video:
Director/video editor Sandy Gibbs
Cameraman John Dazeley
Lighting Ryan O’Donnell
Bull riders Sam Auger and Liz Evans
Bull hire from PromoKing, Palmerston North (with thanks to Sue and Tony)
Music: Haydn’s Cello Concerto No.2 in D Allegro Moderato played by Jaqueline Du Pre
Montage of found footage consists of excerpts from:
The Deerhunter,1978 (Dir. Michael Cimino)
The Ride, 1997 (Dir. Michael O. Sajbel)
The Swimmer, 1968 (Dir. Frank Perry)
Pumping Iron II – The Women, 1984 (Dir. George Butler)
Tokyo Olympiad: The Olympic Games, Tokyo, 1964 (Dir. Kon Ichikawa)
And my mother’s ‘stag’ fireguard
Pouf with water fountain
Wooden construction assistance Chris Williams
Upholstery by The Upholstery Craftsman, Newtown, Wellington
Water pump from California Garden Centre (with thanks to Kevin)