Gavin Hipkins is an Auckland-based artist who works with photography and moving image. He has been described as a ‘tourist of photography’ reflecting a strategic treatment of eclectic styles and diverse photographic techniques. Over the last two decades his practice has engaged postcolonial, architectural, and commodity discourses via a range of analogue and digital technologies, photo-installations, and artist videos. In 2010 he started making fragmented narrative films that frequently call on nineteenth-century references, and adapts these writings to contemporary settings. His projects engage film as a cinematic art that blurs definable genres between drama, documentary, film essay, and experimental narrative structures. In 2014, Hipkins’ first feature film Erewhon — an essay adaptation of Samuel Butler’s 1872 novel Erewhon, Or Over the Range — premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival and Edinburgh Art Festival.
He has exhibited widely including: International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2015); The Jewish Museum, New York, USA (2015); Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), New York, USA (2014); City Art Centre, Edinburgh Art Festival, Scotland (2014); Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Germany (2013); Armory Film, The Armory Show, New York (2012); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2011); Austrian Museum of Applied Art and Contemporary Art (MAK), Vienna, Austria (2011); Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia (2010); San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, California, USA (2007); International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, USA, (2006); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, (2004); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA (2000); Palazzo Re Rebaudengo, Guarene d’ Alba, Italy, (2000).
He represented New Zealand at the 1998 Sydney Biennale, and the 2002 Sao Paulo Biennale. He was the recipient of the inaugural residency for New Zealand artists at Artspace Sydney, in 1998. In 2006 he completed an artist’s residency at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York, and in 2007 completed the McCahon Residency in Auckland. His work is included in major public and private collections including the Queensland Art Gallery, the Auckland Art Gallery, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, and George Eastman Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, New York. He is an Associate Professor at Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland.