1. Come in, WARHOL: IMMORTAL, your 15 minutes are up. Almost, anyway. You’ve got until August 25. Te Papa, Wellington. No rush for this one (it’s on until November 10), and hopefully the artists will be sticking around for more than 15 minutes, too: the finalists, two runners-up and winner of the NATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ART AWARD. Dieneke Jansen took the award (you do “take” art awards, don’t you, just like you “take” the Bledisloe Cup?) with Morrison Drive, Hobsonville 23 November 2012, a “strikingly ordinary … yet also strikingly strange” photograph of which judge Jon Bywater said: “The title – just an address and a date – is our cue to discover more, to consider a specific location and point in time, and how it might relate to both bigger pictures and details of people’s lives.” Waikato Museum, Hamilton. In Auckland, Orexart follows up last year’s Pacific Voices group show with, yes, PACIFIC VOICES II. August 27-September 14. A PUPPET, A PAUPER, A PIRATE, A POET, A PAWN AND A KING is a free-entry exhibition (thankfully – who’d want to say that mouthful when asking for a ticket?) at Auckland Art Gallery, drawn from the works of Australian art collector Naomi Milgrom. August 31-January 27.
2. Loathe to mention this one, not because I’ve anything against LORDE (we at the Listener love Lorde), but because of the circumstances of the concert. But when all is said and done, it is free, and it is her only New Zealand show this year. Vector Arena, Auckland, September 7. (Assuming all tickets haven’t already been snatched up.) THE DATSUNS probably remember when they were being talked about with something approaching the enthusiasm now being shown toward Lorde. It is, as they say, a mighty long way down rock and roll. Touring, August 29-September 14. One of those Datsuns gigs is at King Street Live in Masterton, where promoter Up with People has been doing great work over the past 12 months, bringing music to the Wairarapa and proving the Rimutakas need be no barrier to touring bands. Newtown Rocksteady head the bill for UP WITH PEOPLE’S 1st BIRTHDAY PARTY at the venue. August 31.
3. Auckland Theatre Company is touring its production of Arthur Meek’s 2011 play ON THE UPSIDE DOWN OF THE WORLD (Glen Eden Playhouse, August 29-31, as part of the Going West Festival; Rudolf Steiner School, Christchurch, September 19-21, as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival; Q Theatre, Auckland, September 25-28) and a revival of Dave Armstrong and Oscar Kightley’s 2005 comedy NIU SILA (Clarence St Theatre, Hamilton, September 13; St Margaret’s College, September 17 and 18, and Cashmere High School, Christchurch, September 19, as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival schools programme; Aranui High School, September 20; Dargaville Town Hall, September 23; Turner Centre, Kerikeri, September 24; Old Library, Whangarei, September 26; Te Ahu Centre, Kaitaia, September 28; Q Theatre, Auckland, October 2-5; Suter Theatre, Nelson, October 11 and 12, as part of the Nelson Arts Festival; Mangere Arts Centre, October 15-25, as part of the Southside Arts Festival). Here’s our review of On the Upside Down of the World when it premiered.
4. New Zealand choreographer Raewyn Hill (interviewed for the Listener here in 2009) brings her Dancenorth company over from Queensland for a short run of her acclaimed MASS. Downstage Theatre, Wellington, August 29-September 1.
5. The winners of this year’s NEW ZEALAND POST BOOK AWARDS are announced on August 28 and you can see them interviewed (by me) the next lunchtime at Auckland’s Central City Library. Paula Morris, fiction winner at last year’s awards for Rangatira, is, when she’s not being a Serious Author, one of the funniest people you’re likely to meet. She channelled that side of herself in her 2007 novel about hapless publicist Jane Shore, Trendy But Casual, and has now revived Shore in a blog, EVERYBODY NEEDS TWO OR THREE FRIENDS. Morris also does a fine line in spoof tweets from Camilla. Duchess of Cornwall. Gigi Fenster, a fiction finalist in this year’s awards, joins fellow writers Mandy Hager, Danyl Mclauchlan, Glenn Colquhoun, Pip Adam, Tina Makereti and Therese Lloyd for the latest in the New Zealand Book Council’s successful series TRUE STORIES TOLD LIVE – with “fear and loathing” the theme of their unscripted tales. Fear and loathing? Fenster will see plenty of that at the awards ceremony. National Library, Wellington, August 30. Here, meanwhile, is a True Stories Told Live they made earlier.