In one of Ralph Hotere's paintings we are shown a square which is not / a square. Is a diamond. In which there is a square. The painting is orange, but some parts are more orange than others. A green plastic strip is attached, in which there are numbers. 3 2 1—the countdown. The painting is ZERO. Or is it the square? Either way, it is where we take off from.

Mark Young, Ascent Vol. 1, No. 3, 1969; quoted in Ralph Hotere: Black Light, ed. Mary Trewby, Ian Wedde et al, Dunedin/Wellington, 2000.

When Mark was in Auckland in July we found a set of Ascent magazines in Jason Books but #3 was missing. I've since learned that it is extremely hard to come by—others have looked for it without success. The painting Mark's talking about is illustrated in Black Light but I haven't been able to find an electronic image of it. Nor is much else of Hotere's extraordinary oeuvre available on the net yet. That will surely change ...

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