Nathan Gray & Phil Dadson – The Shakes (7/07/2016 – 30/07/2016)

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Please join us for the opening of The Shakes, an exhibition of moving image work by Nathan Gray and Phil Dadson.


Nathan Gray lives and works in Australia, where he uses techniques gleaned from a background in experimental music to develop succinct, often humorous works spanning sculpture, performance and video.

Latent within this new work, developed with choreographer Rebecca Jensen and musician Tarquin Manek through a process of structured improvisations, we can identify a theme which has recurred throughout Grays’s practice: human relation and interaction with objects. In the structural logic to which The Shakes adheres, objects as treated as scores which inform the actions of a group of human performers as they explore the ambiguity of repetitive, obsessive movements which might be read as either symptoms of excitement or of anxiety.

At a formal level, Gray’s thinking traverses several boundaries and oppositions – dance / performance art; choreography / music; composition / live-improvisation; performance as performance / performance for documentation; documentation as documentation / documentation as material. The editing of this work is also multi-linear, distributing a single timeline across a number of split screens. In this way we are simultaneously provided with serval different perspectives through which we may consider shaking as a phenomenon mapped through various mediums — sound, machine, body.

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Phil Dadson is one Aotearoa / New Zealand’s most experienced and internationally celebrated practitioners of visual and intermedia art. His importance to New Zealand’s art history is hard to overstate and stems principally from his work throughout the 1970’s with legendary performance group From Scratch who pushed the boundaries of sonic and intermedia art and performance. Dadson’s influence was further ensured following is time as Head of Intermedia/Time-based arts at Elam School of Fine Art where his playful and experimental methodologies were passed on to generation of now mid-career artists.

Dadson’s highly inventive transdisciplinary approach to making knows fews formal boundaries, incorporating improvisational performance with invented instruments, experimental instrument building, sound installation, musical composition, and drawing. That said, video has remained a constant passion throughout his career, as much for its ability to synergistically combine image and sound as for its unique materiality.

In this work, Heavy Metal, Dadson plunges the viewer into an energetic collaboration with employees of the Schmidtsche Schack Factory in Kassel, Germany. Having been invited by curator Jürgen Olbrich to participate in Werk/Kunst/Werk, an exhibition commemorating 125 years of the Metal & Electrics Industry in Nordhessen, Dadson proposed the formation of a percussion ensemble with workers in the factory. Having worked in a Wattie’s canning factory as a student, Dadson recalled the interruptions and glitches that intervened in the regularity of the factories clockwork tonality, dwelling at the time on the possibility of choreographing workers and industrial machinery like an orchestra and finally realising this project in Heavy Metal.

For more see;


Nathan Gray & PHil Dadson, ‘The Shakes’
Opens Thursday 7 July, 5.30pm, with refreshments provided by Liberty Brewing!
Gallery open 12 – 4pm, Tuesday – Saturday.
Closes Saturday 30 July 4.00pm.