archive: 08.11 A guest A host
Installation view Dane Mitchell - A guest, A host, West, November 2009.
press announcement 25.10.2008 (english)

‘A Guest, A Host’
Dane Mitchell - new work


Open: saturday 08.11.2008 till saturday 29.11.2008
Opening: saturday 08.11.2008, 16.00 - 18.00 uur
by Bas van Nooten (Adj. directeur Museum Beelden aan Zee)

With the aid of an initiated witch Dane Mitchell conjures the spirit of Spinoza* to West. 'A Guest, A Host', Mitchell’s first solo exhibition in the Netherlands, gives space to 'other ways or knowing'.

In the classic town house in which West is situated Mitchell uses its key architectural elements – the fireplaces and following the instructions of the witch he has utilized various elements; including glass, gravedirt, sulphur and the remnants of needles and candles to create subtle works that are fulfilled by the viewer.
The artist attempts to call the spirit of Spinoza to the gallery – the contradictory views of Spinoza and New Age thinking form a challenge – the incompatibility of these two views become a compelling trope for Mitchell’s visual language and approach.
Mitchell has also cast several spells as objects of glass. During the process of glassblowing Mitchell has spoken the spells into the molten glass – the form of these delicate objects determined by the uttered words. The exhibition also brings together several diagrammatic schema and encased materials employed in the invocation of Spinoza.
These works fit into the methodology of Mitchell’s practice in which he examines forms of knowledge and power. Processes from the field of bacteriology, anthropology, geology and parapsychology are used and by revealing and concealing habits and patterns he comments on mechanisms in the development of cultural practices.

* Baruch Spinoza (1632 - 1677) was a philosopher and lens maker by trade who lived and died only 300 meters from the gallery. Spinoza claimed (in contrast to his predecessors) that there exists only one substance, which stands in itself and has to be understood for itself. This philosophy represents the beginning of rational thinking. With that the existence of wonders and 'the supernatural' is brought up for discussion.

Dane Mitchell (1976) is based in Auckland, New Zealand. He has exhibited widely internationally, including Art Statements at Art 39 Basel. In 2009 he will take up a coveted one-year residency in the DAAD Kunstler-Programm in Berlin.

Selected solo exhibitions:
2008 Conjuring Form, Art Statements, Art39Basel, Basel, Invocations, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, Inaugural Curse, Institute of Modern Art (IMA) - TCB Space, Brisbane
2007 Barricades, Starkwhite, Auckland
2006 The Shelter or A Fear of the Touch of The Unknown, A Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro
2005 Present Surface of Tell, The Physics Room, Christchurch, Empires, Starkwhite, Auckland

Selected group exhibitions:
2008 Abre Alas, A Gentil Carioca, Rio de Janeiro, The Leisure Suite, The Leroy Neiman Gallery, New York
2007 Mystic Truths, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, Rules of Engagement, Westspace, Melbourne
2006 Local Transit, Artists Space, New York, NY, Free New Zealand Art, Para/Site, Hong Kong Don’t Misbehave! Scape Biennial, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch 2005 Free New Zealand Art, ARTSPACE, Auckland 2004 Remember NZ, NZ Pavilion, São Paulo Biennale, São Paulo, Infiltrate, Sub Station, Singapore

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