Evanescent Monuments


Photographs by Chris Corson-Scott
Words by Laurence Simmons, Emil McAvoy, Chris Holdaway
Design by Elliot Wade Ferguson

72pp, staple-bound, offset printed, edition of 400
ISBN 978-0-9941123-5-4

“What we memorialise reflects our values as a society, & typically monuments commemorate the wealthy, powerful, violence, & victimised. These photographs take the fading remnants of early New Zealand industry as inadvertent monuments, & through the wealth & power they represent, reflect on the ideology behind them, & the environmental or economic violence which are their consequences.”

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New photographs from Chris Corson-Scott’s long-standing project to uncover Aotearoa New Zealand’s industrial heritage. This work looks to the forgotten endeavours that built the modern nation & environmental crises over indigenous land & asks: is our civilisation a monument worth, worthy of, or capable of sustaining, that history.

This publication also features essays by Laurence Simmons, Professor of Film Studies and Media Communication at The University of Auckland, & poet Chris Holdaway, as well as an interview between the artist and Emil McAvoy.

Evanescent Monuments was produced to accompany exhibitions of the same name that ran at Parlour Projects (June 9–July 7, 2018), & Trish Clark Gallery (October 5–November 9, 2018).

It is a follow-up of sorts to a previous collaboration Dreaming in the Anthropocene (Compound Press, 2017) between Chris Corson-Scott & Chris Holdaway.

Chris Corson-Scott is an artist from Auckland, New Zealand. His work is in collections including Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, The Chartwell Collection, & Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. His work was included in The Future Machine (2017–18) at Tauranga Art Gallery, The Devil’s Blind Spot: Recent Strategies in New Zealand Photography (2016–17) at Christchurch Art Gallery, & Kinder’s Presence (2013–14) at Auckland Art Gallery. With Chris Holdaway he is the co-author of Dreaming in the Anthropocene (2017).

Laurence Simmons is Professor of Film Studies in Media and Communication at The University of Auckland. He has published widely on New Zealand art & photography. His most recent books are on the artist William Hodges, Tuhutuhi: William Hodges, Cook’s Painter in the South Pacific (Otago University Press, 2011), & Blutopia (Five-Point Press, 2014) on the New Zealand contemporary artist John Reynolds. He as just co-curated the travelling exhibition Gordon Walters: New Vision & co-edited the accompanying catalogue.

Emil McAvoy is an artist, art writer, & lecturer in Photo Media & Fine Arts at Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design. He has written for publications including Art New Zealand, Art News New Zealand, EyeContact, the Pantograph Punch, & numerous public & dealer galleries. He holds an MFA from the Elam School of Fine Arts, & a BVA from AUT. His work was included in This is New Zealand (2018) at City Gallery Wellington, & this is the cup of your heart (2016) at the Dowse Museum.

Chris Holdaway is a poet & editor from Auckland, New Zealand. He is the author of HIGH-TENSION/FASHION (Greying Ghost, 2017), & directs Compound Press. He received his MFA in poetry from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA, and his MA(Hons) in linguistics from the University of Auckland. His work has been published in Cordite, Cream City Review, The Seattle Review, & Southerly, among others.