Over a short period of a few years, all of my immediate family, including myself have packed up belongings, newly produced children, and fled my hometown, Wellington. The dozen or so of us are now globally scattered: Berlin, London, Santiago, Sydney, Auckland, Ongaonga. So, at times of significance, such as birthdays, weddings and Christmas, technology is called upon to tether a connection for a few short moments. Everybody knows this technology offers less than a satisfactory substitute for close, corporeal contact; everybody knows it’s a compromise.

This work directly addresses my not uncommon personal experience, and how it relates to current sociopolitical environments. With  encouragement from movements such as the Arab Spring, Occupy, the plight of Pussy Riot and even the Tea Party, communities as well as individuals are questioning fundamentals of our societies, where we are headed, and questioning, too, a previous unfortunate willingness to agree. I believe that my personal experience is an epitomisation of the type of compromise that people have begun to rail against.

It has been a year since this work’s original conception. Initially concerned that it may have lost some of its original vigour and poignancy after a perceived lull in overt political retaliation in 2012, over the course of its second development I have been able to see that the themes of An Unfortunate Willingness to Agree persist to be current and relevant.

Unashamedly from a young person’s perspective,  this work ultimately speaks of our desire for something much more human and honest.

Oliver Connew / February 2013

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