16th February – 12th March 2022
Often exhibition openings are used in films as a narrative device to create a sense of climax, they frequently involve some kind of conflict or displacement, in which a character finds themselves lost within a strange cult-like world. Jostling and joking, people eat, drink and vie for attention. The art world, its inhabitants and its rituals are portrayed as dynamic, chaotic and extraordinary. As the video Openings demonstrates, in the history of film, exhibition openings are useful devices for portraying characters who, Icarus-like, are reaching new heights of fame and pretension as well as bewildered outsiders who gawp at the strange milieu. In the context of binge-watching, on-line mega cuts and mash-ups, Openings is an obsessive and meticulous compilation, an expression of archival cinephilia. It uses innovative methods of editing-as-making to combine banality with high drama, breaking open existing narratives, opening them up and re-arranging them into new and surprising formulations. The work is particularly relevant at a time when the babble and crush of coming together, sans mask, in large numbers to fete an artist and their newest work is starting to seem like a distant memory.
Daniel Strang is an artist, film editor and cameraman based in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Since graduating with a Masters in MediArts in Moving Image from Wintec, Hamilton in 2008 he has been working in photography, film and video. Recent exhibitions include: Event Horizon, curated by Jamie Hinton (Ilam Campus Gallery, Christchurch, 2016), Roadkill Cat Rug (Window, Auckland, 2015); HOSANNA! (Saint Kevins Arcade, Auckland 2012) and may I admire you? (1/155 Symonds Street, Auckland, 2010.)
Strang frequently assists artists with video production including: Tim Wagg, Jim Allen, Mark Harvey and Sarah Smuts Kennedy. He also collaborates with artists and galleries to create performance documentation and has done so in the past at: Artspace Aotearoa, Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts and Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery.