auckland

Dane Mitchell, The Smell of an Empty Space (Liquid), 2011, perfume, glass, mirror, clamps, 53 1/8 x 17 1/2 x 96 3/8".

Dane Mitchell

Artspace, Auckland

Dane Mitchell, The Smell of an Empty Space (Liquid), 2011, perfume, glass, mirror, clamps, 53 1/8 x 17 1/2 x 96 3/8".

In 2009, Dane Mitchell was the victim of a peculiarly vicious attack by the New Zealand press after his piece Collateral, which was made that year and used packaging material such as brown paper, blue plastic strapping, bubble wrap, brown tape, and envelopes from other entrants’ works, won a prestigious art award. The mainstream media’s problem seemed to be that (a) Mitchell hadn’t made the piece himself and (b) he’d appropriated material from other artists. The hoopla was an unfortunate reminder that in this country, artists with a Conceptual approach often still face out-of-touch criticism from local hacks. Within the New Zealand art community however, Mitchell is rightly regarded as one of its rising talents. The controversy probably didn’t cause the artist himself much distress; he was in Berlin when it happened, participating in the city’s DAAD residency program (he now lives

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