Men may front up at women-only exhibit
HUTT VALLEY REPORTER
A Lower Hutt man offended by plans for a women-only exhibition at a local art gallery says he and others may "front up" and put the policy to the test.
Paul Young has complained to the Human Rights Commission over the display, due to debut at the Dowse Art Museum on Saturday.
Cinderazahd: For Your Eyes Only is a 5-minute clip of Muslim women preparing for a cousin's wedding without wearing hijab, or veils.
Sophia Al-Maria, the Qatari artist responsible, has asked that men be excluded from seeing the video, which is part of a wider exhibition called In Spite of Ourselves: Approaching Documentary.
Mr Young understood a total of nine complaints had been received about the work by the Human Rights Commission.
He had been told to expect a mediation meeting with the Dowse later this week.
If unsatisfied by the outcome, Mr Young said he and others might test the women-only policy by asking to see the exhibit.
"We might front up and stand in line, and put it to the test in effect. This is not a men thing, this is a people thing," he said.
A Human Rights Commission spokeswoman said any mediation stemming from complaints about the exhibit would be confidential. She would not say how many complaints had been received.
Dowse director Cam McCracken declined to comment on the Human Rights Commission process.
"We hope the public will be calm and respectful. We're relaxed about Saturday and we are looking forward to it," he said.
Arts writer and commentator Courtney Johnston has been appointed director of the Dowse Art Museum and Petone Settlers Museum, replacing Mr McCracken, who will move to the Dunedin Public Art Gallery at the end of September.
Hutt City Council community services manager Matt Reid said Ms Johnston would bring strong leadership from her positions with the National Library of New Zealand and web agency Boost New Media.
- © Fairfax NZ News
How much money have you given to charity this year?Related story: Cupboard clearout brings joy to kids