Scores for Transformation

June 24 - August 19, 2023

Artspace Aotearoa, Aotearoa, New Zealand

Özlem Altın, Quishile Charan, Judith Hopf, Laida Lertxundi, Rosemary Mayer

To conjure ‘score’ is to conjure the notation of sound. To conjure ‘score’ is also to conjure ‘the measure’ of things: goals achieved, failures experienced. To conjure transformation is to conjure the active playing of the tune suggested by what has been noted, what has been measured. Paper, soil, petals, lists, bandages—what tune do they play and who is playing?

Each artist included in this exhibition employs a process-based practice that draws out the intrinsically contingent nature of the score. Housed within each of the individual works on view in the gallery—textile, film, sculpture, collage—is the relational fullness of lived experience. These relations are tethered together through the range of where the tune is played: between people (the sharing of knowledge through whakapapa); site (a city once lived in); time (inherited histories, the passing of seasons); and even the law (the administrative reality of having a body that requires food, water, healthcare, and shelter).

Spanning multiple generations and contexts, this exhibition explores the ways in which the body is never simply a passive receiver but is essential to the shaping of the lens through which we access the world. Counter to many of the impulses of corrective violence normalised in the 20th century, these bodies play a tune of the ecstatic form. The instruments used are revolt, resistance, collapse, reverence, reform, and regeneration.


This exhibition included three works by Rosemary: A new Ghost sculpture, entitled Midwinter Ghost, created for the exhibition, and inspired by the winter solstice which occurred during the beginning of the exhibition; a reproduction of Rosemary’s list of influences, entitled “Everything that’s influenced my work / me,” which was enlarged and reproduced on a wall of the gallery, forming a sort of “score” for the exhibition; and pages from her artists book Passages (1976), which documents her only trip to Europe.


John Hurrell, “Processual Notations for Body Parts, Traces or Coverings”, Eye Contact Magazine, July 19, 2023.

Installation views

Photo credit: Andreas Müller

Installation view with Rosemary's list of "Everything that's influenced me / my work," enlarged on the wall.

Pages from Rosemary's artist book Passages (1976) displayed in a vitrine.

Midwinter Ghost, created by the Estate of Rosemary Mayer for the exhibition.