The revolution is earnest, serious stuff. But what happens when revolution and style are scrambled—when art, fashion, and popular culture look to politics for an edge, and when the revolution needs a look to advertise itself? Curator Robert Leonard talks about his 2018 City Gallery Wellington show Iconography of Revolt—which tracked the absorption of edgy revolutionary imagery and strategies into the mainstream—and reflects on the implications for art and curating.

His talk takes in Bolshevik sportswear and Black Panther propaganda; hactivists and hijackers; stone throwers and balaclava wearers; Pussy Riot and the Ayatollah; Maoists in a Paris flat and a flower-power orgy in Death Valley; terrorists on the catwalk and university recruiting videos.

Developed by Starkwhite Queenstown director Kelly Carmichael, Curious is a new series of talks and events in Queenstown that explores visual culture and creative thinking. Curious about the stuff that shapes our world? Come along....


About Robert Leonard:

Robert Leonard is one of New Zealand's most experienced contemporary art commentators. He has held curatorial posts at Wellington’s National Art Gallery, New Plymouth’s Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Auckland Art Gallery, City Gallery Wellington, and was director of Auckland’s Artspace and Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art. He curated New Zealand's representation at Brisbane's Asia-Pacific Triennial in 1999, the Sao Paulo Biennale in 2002, and the Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2015. Recent exhibitions include Yvonne Todd: Creamy Psychology (2014), Julian Dashper & Friends (2015), Francis Upritchard: Jealous Saboteurs (2016), Colin McCahon: On Going Out with the Tide (2017), Iconography of Revolt (2018), Judy Millar: Action Movie (2021), Tia Ranginui: Gonville Gothic (2022), Lucien Rizos; Everything (2022), and Divergent: New Zealand Photography Aotearoa (2022). [{.underline}


  • Free


  • Sat 03 Dec


  • 4:00 pm — 5:00 pm


  • 1–7 Earl Street
  • Queenstown