26 October 2022

Debra Porch Artist in Residence: Andy Butler

Artspace Aotearoa is excited to be welcoming Debra Porch Artist in Residence, Andy Butler. Andy will be travelling from Melbourne, to take up his six weeks residence from October 16.

Andy is an artist, writer and curator. He works in moving image and installation.

Currently, his research is focused on the historical archetype of the white saviour, dominant in the colonial period of Southeast Asia in the early 20th Century. His initial research into this is through the archives of American archaeologists and ethnographers working in the Philippines.

Andy is interested in the ways the dynamics of white saviourism continue to play out today within cultural institutions - such as museums - at a time of social and political transformation.

Concurrently, he is researching the formation of Asian Art collections in museums in the west, and their links to luxury travel of the 19th and early 20th centuries, as well as New Age mysticism of the ‘70s. He is interested in the way that diversity and inclusion discourse continues to be shaped by the tastes and values of the upper classes.

Recently, his artwork has focused on the cognitive dissonance of attempting to maintain hope and optimism within the structures of inequity that shape our cultural and political lives. He is interested in how we carry the legacies of inequity embedded within the foundations of societal structures, and how we might come to imagine a world on the other side of our moment of multiple crises.

Image by Leah Jing McIntosh