IMA at Ksubi
13 September–11 October 201213 Sep–11 Oct 2012
A recent quitter, Auckland artist Steve Carr presents three videos about cigarettes, childhood, and dubious parenting techniques. In Smoke Train, a young mother entertains her daughter by modifying a cigarette pack so it can be used to puff out smoke. We are drawn to this nostalgic, loving scene. (Carr’s mother showed him the trick when he was a child.) However, there is something disturbing about the way the mother inducts her little one into the filthy habit. In Cigarette Tree, the plastic wrapping from a cigarette pack is drawn above the box and lined with paper-ends. When the ends are lit, the smoke magically curls inwards, ensconcing the wrapping in a wreath of mephitis. Finally, the wrapping collapses. The scene suggests a magic trick, a scientific demonstration, and a gravesite. In Annabel, one of Carr’s students attempts (unsuccessfully) to smoke a whole pack of cigarettes in one sitting, like a naughty child caught smoking who has been forced to smoke the rest of the packet as punishment.