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Phil Dadson: Pianoforté

06 Oct 2000 – 05 Nov 2000

Phil Dadson (b. 1946), one of New Zealand's most innovative intermedia artists and experimental music composers, presents an installation to challenge and heighten the senses in the McDougall Contemporary Art Annex and basement from 6 October to 5 November 2000.


About this Exhibition

Phil Dadson (b. 1946), one of New Zealand's most innovative intermedia artists and experimental music composers, presents an installation to challenge and heighten the senses in the McDougall Contemporary Art Annex and basement from 6 October to 5 November 2000. Dadson creatively integrates technology with the visitor's physical presence by creating a site-specific environment based on movement, sound and sight. The conversion of the Annex basement to a rudimentary exhibition space, and the relationship between the upstairs and downstairs levels, subverts conventional expectations and art practice regarding public, private, aesthetic, non-aesthetic,  single and multiple spaces.

Phil Dadson's sculptural synaesthesia of sound, video/film and installation has been resonating throughout the national and international art world since the early 1970s. By integrating media in solo and collaborative work, Dadson has continued to define an aspect of post-object art in New Zealand, which cuts across traditional boundaries in the arts. Dadson is best known as a composer, experimental musical instrument builder and performer with the ensemble, From Scratch. He formed From Scratch in 1970, upon his return from working with the renowned Cornelius Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra in London. Between 1971 and 1976, Dadson worked as a moving-image maker and co-founded SeeHear Films and Alternative Cinema in Auckland, before his appointment to the sculpture department of the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland. He has received several major awards since 1990, including the Grand Prix Award at Cannes/Mildem for the film Pacific 3,2,1, Zero in 1994 and the Fulbright Cultural Travel Award, USA for a From Scratch tour, in 1991. Dadson is currently senior lecturer/head of intermedia/time-based arts at Elam.

The exhibition is accompanied by a substantial catalogue with an essay by Wystan Curnow, writer, freelance curator, art critic and lecturer of English at the University of Auckland. Curnow's critical writings and observational documentation of performance and post-object activities of the 1970s and 1980s have made an integral contribution to the understanding, development and survival of these practices.

This exhibition is presented as part of the Colloquium art project, designed to celebrate innovative practice in areas outside mainstream art production, endorsed by Turning Point 2000 as a significant visual arts event for 2000.

Belinda Jones


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