Monday, May 10, 2010

Beating the drum for history

How quickly history envelopes life. As part of an exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery that included bringing together Julian Dashper’s Big Bang Theory (a set of five drum kits) and Michael Parekowhai’s Ten Guitars (you work it out), Robert Leonard was brought over from Australia to give a talk on the Dashper work. The last time we had seen the full set was seven years ago in Artspace. Julian had arranged a dinner on a long trestle table for the evening and, there being a whole lot of drum kits in the room, we all had a go including Tony Green. He had been involved with Julian’s set-up of the Colin McCahons kit in the Auckland Art Gallery. At that time all the kits were different. Julian probably had to scrabble to get them all together without spending a fortune so in the warehouse-like Artspace of the time down by the waterfront, they looked like the set-up for a drum kit face-off. At the Adam the kits are pristine in shiny matching colours, red, black, red, black etc, with the effect fetishistic. Listening to Robert place the works into history with its inevitably selectivity and earnestness, it was hard to remember how much we all laughed that night.
Image: Tony Green plays for the Colin McCahons