Lorene Taurerewa, New York, Drawing, Dr Hoffenkopf,
Wit is one of the human race’s saving graces, one of the few human things that is totally positive. It is sharpness of mind with largeness of heart, comedy in the understanding of tragedy. Wit lifts us out of the limitations of the fearful, little point of view.
Wit is the main actor at work in Lorene Taurerewa’s recent large charcoal drawings. The titles of her shows – Eccentricks, More Eccentrickery, Sleight of Hand, The Company of Fools – let us know there is more happening than what we see; and elements within the pictures nod to us, asking us to bring what we know of our world beyond the obvious.
It’s a narrative device familiar from theatre. Just as conspiratorial relationships between playwright and audience function across the border of the stage, despite the actors as well as through them, so with these drawings are such contracts negotiated between paper and viewer. Central to this negotiation is the relationship we agree upon between fiction and truth: because getting to truths is not the same as showing the obvious, we are asked to agree that, when the truth is veiled, we will need devious feints and fictions to get to it. Such a contract, however, opens our vulnerablity; because it assents to any potential turning of the tables whereby viewer may on a turn become viewed; judged rather than judge.
The Murder of Dr Hoffenkopf, 59in x 80in, charcoal dust on paper. Private Collection, Melbourne, Australia