First Contact by Michel Tuffery

First Contact by Michel Tuffery
NZ International Festival of the Arts
12th February – 18th March

It took me a while to get around to seeing this, which is ridiculous as it’s just down the road from where I live. Tuffery has designed a clever film projection (a collage of images from the discovery and inventory of New Zealand) which wraps around the benighted front of Te Papa. The performance lasts for ninety minutes and is supposed to begin at “dusk”, but in practice we hung around for nearly an hour after dusk until it began, and even then there was half an hour of rather dull ambient visuals to sit through before the film proper began.

One small problem… and it might’ve just been on the night I saw it, but where was the bloody sound? Without sound it was, well, pretty to look at, but sitting through ninety minutes was not something I want to repeat. There were a couple of  audience members watching it under ideal circumstances, but this involved being massively stoned and with a private iPod soundtrack of something groovy and lysergic.

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