Tomorrow night, Tuesday the 25th please come for a celebration to welcome the artists Dan Arps and Ryan Metke to Saatchi & Saatchi.
Start time 6PM, 16th Floor Reception.
The New Zealand artist Dan Arps will be launching his new book, Affirmation Dungeon as a part of the Walters Prize, a major contemporary art prize that Saatchi & Saatchi sponsors out of New Zealand (with thanks to Kevin Roberts). Dan arrived in New York this week directly from London where he had a solo show at the prestigious Frieze Art Fair. We are extremely proud to be supporting his new publication in association with the Walters Prize and the Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki.
The New York artist Ryan Metke will also be present to launch the exhibition “Captain Kyd”, a new body of work that tells the tale of the hidden treasure buried in Montauk by the illustrious Captain Kyd (aka Kidd c. 1645). Two small ponds at the foot of the hill on which the Montauk Point Light House stands have been called Money Ponds ever since Kidd’s time … one is said to be bottomless.
ABOUT THE WALTERS AWARD & DAN ARPS:
The Walters Prize 2010 was awarded to Dan Arps by the former Tate Modern director Vicente Todolí for his installation Explaining Things.
In awarding the prize to Dan Arps, Vincente Todoli described what he admired most about about the artist’s work:
“For the transformative power of this artist’s vision – Dan’s alchemical display involves all our senses. Reversing Jules Verne’s story Around the World in 80 Days we could say that his installation takes us on a metaphorical trip around the day in eighty worlds.”
“I have awarded this prize to Dan Arps because he has created a total work of art in the Wagnerian sense of ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’. His work is a development of a concept first created by James Joyce in Ulysses, which is the epiphany of everyday life. This idea was highly influential on Duchamp, when he developed the concept of the ‘Readymade’, and was transmitted into the present through movements like Fluxus and Pop. In this case, it would be the epiphany of the humble and the rejected. The artist has transformed these found materials through his own editing and his process of amelioration and has taken them into another, higher realm. Through this process, Dan Arps has turned his installation into an alchemical chamber. He incorporates such a diversity of art disciplines in the treatment of such dissimilar elements, which results in the creation of a conglomerate where the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. Each of them radiates into the empty spaces between them, turning Explaining Things into a revelatory multi-layered experience.”
ABOUT DAN ARPS
Dan Arps is a New Zealand artist based in Auckland. His sprawling installations often resemble abandoned sites or residual mess rather than works for display. Comprising painting and sculpture crafted from mass-cultural upchuck, such as found posters, references to science-fiction and pornography, Plasticine, straw, Mountain Dew bottles and paraphernalia normally associated with scavengers or conspiracy theorists, Arps’s work explores paranoid and schizophrenic subjectivities, as well as art therapy and psychiatry, with a surprising lightness of touch.
“I’m interested in trying to find unconventional ways of reading work that don’t rely on existing art historical models. Instead of looking at a discrete object with a clear division between viewer, work and artist, I’m trying to come closer to how we relate to artefacts in everyday life”. (Dan Arps 2010).
Arps, on his work with found posters:
“When I was working with the found posters I was thinking a lot about the relationship between art therapy and art education. I’d been working with found images, in particular discarded artworks that I found by poking around high schools and an art school where I was teaching and studying. Most of the works were either abstract or blobby expressionist paintings. I was drawn to the idea that art schools offer training, but also a kind of therapy – that they try to fix or improve people somehow. The discarded artworks were like the evidence of this regime of improvement”.
DAN ARPS | AFFIRMATION DUNGEON
This major book surveys Arps’ recent work but through a peculiar lens. This is an artist known for making spaces – dystopic, uncomfortable, decrepit, paranoid, aspirational – that are in their own reality. Here, they are reconstructed as parts of one overarching space, the ‘affirmation dungeon’, in which self-help is crow-barred off its pedestal, along with other forms of normative shaming. This book has been put together with the logic of dungeon mapper or game builder, a temporarily liberated reality forming around the viewer as avatar. What is really pictured is unclear, but this space can be looked at as indexing or growing out of pressure-intensive neoliberal New Zealand – a society hollowed out into which one is compelled to amass rubbish as a way of claiming space or enacting sovereignty. The way in which Arps has consistently worked with and altered found materials is echoed in the way in which text material has been assembled for the book, involving pieces taken from the Internet and earlier publications, and slippages and glitches in language; language, time, and architectural space being sites for resistance to measurement, authority, conservatism, simplification, homogenisation, and gentrification.
This project is supported by Creative New Zealand and by Saatchi & Saatchi through their association with The Walters Prize, organised by the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.
Additional Background on Dan Arps:
Arps at ACAG
Arps in studio