Tomorrow is the last day of our two architecture exhibitions and so is your last chance to see the original 1934 plans for the Kenneth Myers Centre and some of New Zealand’s oldest perspective drawings.  At 1pm Dr Deidre Brown, Senior Lecturer at The University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning, discusses her new book Mâori Architecture, including the designs of John Scott, which features in the exhibition New Zealand Architecture in Perspective.


Our forthcoming AC/DC exhibition has been long planned to coincide with the launch of Ian Wedde’s new book Bill Culbert: Making Light Work but it is a complete coincidence that it also arrives at the same time as a quite different AC/DC promotion with posters all over town. Nevertheless, we also promise an electrifying show.


Also visible on Auckland streets right now are classic posters we can take credit for, which signal the imminent arrival of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture, Black Panther Party who is here as Elam International Artist in Residence and will be staging an exhibition at the Gus Fisher Gallery.


Please find details of both new exhibitions and associated events below.




AC/DC: The Art of Power

21 August – 3 October 2009

Exhibition opening: 21 August, 5.30pm


AC/DC is a high-voltage exhibition of switched-on art that explores the social, corporate and political power structures which inform the ways we think about and use energy. The works in this show not only rely on different forms of energy production and consumption, they foreground and critique the implications and possibilities of these systems, and the politics inherent in them. The exhibition takes its inspiration from the rift between inventors Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison, whose systems of alternating current and direct current once competed in a ‘War of Currents’ when Tesla’s more complex technology threatened to topple Edison’s monopoly. Artists include Billy Apple, Wayne Barrar, Mary-Louise Browne, Bill Culbert, Disinformation, Brett Graham and Rachael Rakena, Joanna Langford, Mary Morrison and Joe Sheehan. The exhibition also includes a listening programme and screenings.


Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture, Black Panther Party

21 August – 3 October 2009

Exhibition opening and welcome for Emory Douglas: 21 August, 5.30pm


American artist Emory Douglas created the striking graphic images that came to represent the Black Panther Party in the 1960s and 1970s. Symbolising the civil unrest of the times, his images were used to illustrate the Black Panther, the party’s weekly newspaper. Over the years, the Black Panther’s “Revolutionary Artist” made countless artworks, illustrations, and cartoons, which were reproduced in the paper and distributed as prints, posters, cards and sculptures. Thanks in large part to Emory Douglas’ powerful visuals the Black Panther Party delivered a forceful message to a community ravaged by poverty, police brutality, and poor living conditions.


While in New Zealand as Elam International Artist in Residence, Emory will also accept a number of community and iwi-based invitations. As part of their welcome to Emory Douglas, the Polynesian Panthers will host a public concert in his honour. The event will comprise talks, music and other activities. Thanks to Phantom Billstickers.


The Elam International Artist in Residence programme was established in 1999 and is made possible by the generous sponsorship of arts patron Dame Jenny Gibbs.

Public Events


Saturday 22nd August, 1pm

Launch of Ian Wedde’s new book Bill Culbert: Making Light Work, published by Auckland University Press. Followed by a gallery talk from Wedde and Culbert.


Monday 24th August, 6:30pm

Public lecture: Emory Douglas and the Art of Revolution. Elam International Artist in Residence, Emory Douglas, will discuss his practice and the art of revolution. Room 1.439, “Glass Box”, Engineering Building, 20 Symonds Street. No bookings.


Saturday 29th August, 1pm

Music’s incendiary potential to communicate revolutionary rhetoric and inspire solidarity was not lost on White Panther Party co-founder John Sinclair. MC5, the band he managed, became part of the White Panther’s “total assault on the culture by any means necessary.” Kick out the Jams is a document of the band live, compiled from footage filmed in the late 1960s.


Saturday 5th September, 1pm

AC/DC curator Andrew Clifford presents Electric Cinema, a presentation of high voltage films, including works by Billy Apple, Phil Dadson and Disinformation.


Saturday 12th September, 1pm

Emory Douglas and Mohsen al Attar: Education for Emancipation

Emory Douglas discusses his exhibition and experiences in the Black Panther Party with Mohsen al Attar, Faculty of Law, who will address links between education, oppression, revolution and liberation. As al Attar says, “Education is much more than the technical practice of learning but, in fact, a type of political intervention in which the student acquires greater understanding of the world they inhabit and the possibilities of transforming it via established and novel ways. Emory’s work has been inspirational to many including myself precisely because of the novelty of the images and the powerful message underpinning it. Every sketch was a political intervention of the highest degree. Education has this same revolutionary potential, a truism that is often lost in the commodity climate of tertiary institutions today.”


Sunday 13th September, 4pm

Panther Rapp at the Going West Books & Writers Festival

Titirangi War Memorial Hall, 500 South Titirangi Rd

Members of the Polynesian Panther Party, Will 'Ilolahia and Dr Melani Anae (editor of book Polynesian Panthers), rap about the struggle for Polynesian rights. Founded in the 70s to fight the inequalities facing Pacific Islanders and Maori, it was inspired by the efforts of the US Black Panther Party and their struggle against racism and oppression. Together with special guest Emory Douglas of the Black Panthers, and chair Reverend Mua Strickson-Pua, they’ll reflect on the party’s challenges, successes and its legacy.

Tickets $15/ concessions $10, bookings:


Saturday 19th September, 1pm

Circuit Breakers: S.C. Cumuna meets Sci Hi

A free concert of hacked electronics and recycled gadgets in which two of Auckland’s most underrated sonic handlers coax mysterious energies from malfunctioning machines.


Saturday 26th September, 1pm

Award-winning producer Annie Goldson, Associate Professor in The University of Auckland’s Film Television and Media Studies Department, introduces her early documentaries Framing the Panthers (in Black and White), 1991, about FBI covert interference with Black Panther activities, and Death Row Notebooks, 1993, about Panther activist Mumia Abu Jamal.


Saturday 3rd October, 1pm

A multidisciplinary selection of researchers from throughout The University of Auckland respond to the AC/DC exhibition with a discussion on energy issues.

All exhibitions and public programmes are free and take place at the Gus Fisher Gallery unless otherwise noted.

THE GUS FISHER GALLERY                                GALLERY HOURS

The Kenneth Myers Centre                                Tuesday - Friday 10am - 5pm

74 Shortland St                                               Saturday 12pm - 4pm
Auckland, New Zealand                                    Closed Public Holidays

Telephone: 3737 599 ext 86646