2014 London Biennale Pollination in Las Vegas

Jevijoe Vitug's  'VIVAYLAN'  and Anothony Bondi's  'Iron Curtain' . Photograph: JK Russ

Jevijoe Vitug's 'VIVAYLAN' and Anothony Bondi's 'Iron Curtain'. Photograph: JK Russ

The London Biennale project was founded in 1998 by David Medalla, a Filipino conceptual artist based in London, who assigns the theme for each year’s biennale. The event aims to challenge and transform the notion of the art world ‘biennale’ as a large state or corporate-sponsored event with artists selected by curators based on their geographical location, citizenship, nationality, race and ethnicity by throwing open borders and encouraging a more intimate and community-based dialogue between the artists and audiences. Over the years, the London Biennale has expanded with simultaneous satellite events taking place in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Berlin, New York, Boston and Las Vegas.

At this year’s London Biennale Pollination in Las Vegas, attendees literallyget lost in art. The multi-artist constructed exhibition, emerging as a satellite event from the London Biennale, features the theme “Maps, Mazes and Mysteries” writes Eleni Parashos for

Amongst those involved are Matthew Couper, JK Russ and Jevijoe Vitug. Couper, a New Zealand native and local [Las Vegas] artist, curated the London Biennale Pollination in Las Vegas with fellow artist and writer Vitug. He says the theme, although developed as an international concept by London Biennale creator David Medalla, has deep roots in Las Vegas.

“Vegas changes often, to the point where a map becomes useless after a few months,” Couper said. “It’s a city that operates as a changing structure and generates a lot of mystery for the people who come here. It’s an easy place to get lost.”

The Artist As Peasant

PAULNACHE is exhibiting Matthew Couper at the 2013 Auckland Art Fair who is described by Huffington Post's John Seed as "an artist with a Kafkaesque view of the world whose imagery suggests a pagan Catholic Cirque du Soleil". The artist will deliver a solo performance each day of the art fair as a painting monkey, accompanied by a recent suite of work from his Las Vegas studio.

Parallel Lines

'All I want is 20-20 vision / A total portrait with no omissions' - Blondie, ‘Picture This’, Parallel Lines LP, 1978

'All I want is 20-20 vision / A total portrait with no omissions' - Blondie, ‘Picture This’, Parallel Lines LP, 1978

Parallel Lines brings together the seemingly disparate works of artists represented by PAULNACHE in Gisborne, New Zealand. The installation of artworks create a visual representation of timelines, slipstreams, jet-steams, tracks and paths alluding to the variable ways that artists interact visually, conceptually, locally and globally. Much like Jorge Luis Borges’s seminal short story The Garden of Forking Paths, where a multiplicity of narratives run together to create a hypertext structure, Parallel Lines traces multiple narratives around the perimeter of the gallery walls and in turn creates a wider narrative pursuing concepts of glocalization - a newly coined term, blending globalization and localization referring to the concept of individual, group organization, product or services that reflect not only global standards but also local aspects. The artists represented in the exhibition and by PAULNACHE act on this premise of glocalization with artists living throughout New Zealand and abroad in Berlin, Melbourne, Las Vegas, Manila and Mumbai, but all returning to the provincial East Coast city of Gisborne in New Zealand to test and trial their art in the context of PAULNACHE. 
The exhibition features artists Evan Woodruffe, Star Gossage, Matt Summers, Justin Jade Morgan, Mark Braunias, Brian Campbell, Matt Arbuckle, Scott Gardiner, Valerie Bos, Jevijoe Vitug, Rob McLeod, Ben Pearce, Ria Camp, Sanjay Theodore, Sam Kiyoumarsi, Clive Kelly, John Pule, John Walsh, Arie Hellendoorn, Geoff Tune, Bill Riley, Dion Hitchens, James Ormsby and Matthew Couper.

The Cultural Currency of Matthew Couper

Matthew Couper, Limbo of the Journeyman, 2013, Oil on canvas, 358mm x 161cm, Private Collection USA

Matthew Couper, Limbo of the Journeyman, 2013, Oil on canvas, 358mm x 161cm, Private Collection USA

Matthew Couper's 2014 solo 'Limbo Of The Journeyman' centers around a large oil painting on loose canvas of the same title, painted in the artist’s Las Vegas studio. It continues Couper’s interest in developing art as a ‘cultural currency’ while showing autobiographical features of his life in the USA and his ongoing dialogue and relationship to anachronistic art practices. Couper’s association with the notion of a journeyman (the artistic development between an apprentice and a master) is brought to the fore, singling out his context, journey – both physically and intellectually – and the trials and tribulations of his career path since immigrating to the USA in 2010.