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Roger Boyce and Richard Lewer: Means to An End


Tue 25 Oct 2016, 11:00am–6:00pm
Wed 26 Oct 2016, 11:00am–6:00pm
Thu 27 Oct 2016, 11:00am–6:00pm
Fri 28 Oct 2016, 11:00am–6:00pm
Sat 29 Oct 2016, 11:00am–4:00pm

Where: {Suite} Gallery, 241 Cuba Street, Wellington

Restrictions: M

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Listed by: David Alsop

Two challenging artworks on public show in Wellington raise questions regarding euthanasia.

Artist Richard Lewer’s award-winning animation piece ‘Worse Luck I’m Still Here’ tells the true story of an elderly couple’s failed suicide pact. Shown around the world, its projection at {Suite} on Cuba Street will be its most public showing.

Also exhibiting is Roger Boyce, whose installation is a ‘how-to’ in bringing about your own death; with wall mounted gas tanks, a wall text detailing the science of dying by breathing nitrogen, and a video in which characters act out their suicide.

{Suite} owner David Alsop says he expects that some people may object to the artworks being shown in such a public space.

“At a time when New Zealand law around euthanasia is being reviewed, these artworks will inevitably stir debate about the politics of voluntary death. But that is the whole point of art, to challenge, provoke and arouse emotions.

“Boyce’s work is an instruction of how to cause death and not everyone will be comfortable seeing that. A person’s choice to inhale gas to commit suicide would be at the extreme end of any debate. “Lewer’s work shows a husband suffocating his wife and dog before failing to end his own life using a toaster. Ultimately he swims off into the ocean.”

Despite the challenging content that the artworks illustrate, there is a commonality in people dying, and loving people when they die and how to deal with that.

“I have personal connections with people at the forefront of the current euthanasia debate in New Zealand. And I have lived in the Netherlands which is one the most progressive countries in its approach to voluntary death.”

Alsop says the gallery has ensured that the most provocative aspect of Boyce’s artwork will be out of sight to Cuba St pedestrians who may prefer not be confronted.

This is Melbourne based Lewer’s first exhibition in Wellington for 10 years. Roger Boyce is a senior lecturer at Ilam Art School, University of Canterbury.

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