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Maddie Leach

Ice rink at museum

Maddie Leach has a conceptual art practice in which – as with The ice rink – she aims to create situations and experiences as works of art in themselves.

The ice rink directly challenges the art museum tradition of ‘look but don’t touch’. In 2002, Leach installed a working ice rink at the Waikato Museum of Art and History, inviting visitors to skate along the rink. Te Papa collected a number of objects and archival material – such as these three photographs and newspaper poster – and acquired the right to exhibit the functioning ice rink in the future.

The lilac ship limits the public to their traditional role of spectators. Viewers contemplate a cruise ship from afar – a remote and exclusive world available for the enjoyment of only a privileged few.

Watch an interview with Maddie Leach

This text was prepared for the Collecting Contemporary exhibition, June 2011.


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