6 December 2013 - 6 April 2014
Curator, Rob Garrett
Daniel von Sturmer’s work uses various media to explore questions about the nature of perception, the embodiment of time and how context and framing shape the meaning and experience of an art-work.
Developed from studio based experiments and observations, video and photography is used in the work to reframe common materials and objects as unlikely props from which philosophical questions can arise. The images and sequences involve elements of humour and slapstick often driven by the characteristics of an object as it falls in space, or is caught by friction, to behave in some unexpected way. In these scenarios the frame of the lens is an analogue for the frame of perception and points to the limits of the visual language we rely on to understand and define the world. Artistic tropes borrowed from Modernism and Minimalism, Abstraction and Still Life are referenced and replayed in the work as markers of this language in action.
Production Stills presents a new series of works using a collection of found objects and recycled materials to form improbable sculptural stacks. The works defy logical reading, confounding the innate understanding of gravity, friction and balance.
Presented in the hubbub of the city street, the works propose a situation of uncertainty where the mind of the viewer is invited to pause and consider what it is they are seeing, and how they may be seeing it. Although appearing to conform to some of the conventions of advertising ‘product shots’, the collection of images offer no easy takeaway concept or proposition. Instead they assert an alternative space of reflection where nothing is being pushed, no didactic message to receive, only questions to be considered.
Born in New Zealand in 1972, von Sturmer studied at RMIT University in Melbourne, where he now lives and works. In 2007 he represented Australia at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He has exhibited at numerous national and international public venues including the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden; the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin and Auckland Art Gallery. Recent solo exhibitions include The Field Equation at ACCA, Melbourne (2006); Set Piece (2009) at Site Gallery, Sheffield; Daniel von Sturmer: Video Works (2010), at Karsten Schubert, London, and small world (2012) Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and After Images at CCP, Melbourne (2013).
Daniel von Sturmer is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Sydney.
Wellington City Council NEWS RELEASE (3 December 2013)
Daniel von Sturmer is the latest artist to have his work showcased in the Courtenay Place Park light boxes. Von Sturmer's Production Stills will be on display throughout the summer and into early April. The series features photographs of collections of cast-off office supplies and recycled objects assembled in gravity-defying piles.
Uncomplicated images at first glance, the photographs invite a longer look, working against our instinctive understanding of physical forces and prompting questions about everyday digital manipulation. There is also a distinct element of tension and slapstick humour - the sculptures forever on the brink of an inevitable collapse.
Although appearing to conform to some of the conventions of advertising product shots, the collection of images offer no easy takeaway concept or proposition. Nothing is being pushed, and there is no message to receive, only questions to be asked.
"Daniel von Sturmer’s works use a collection of found objects and recycled materials to form improbable sculptural stacks. The works defy logical reading because they confound our everyday understanding of gravity, friction and balance. They invite the viewer to pause and consider what it is they are seeing, and how they may be seeing it" says curator Rob Garrett. "Von Sturmer's playful works have the potential to turn us into witnesses of our own senses."
New Zealand born von Sturmer studied at RMIT University and is currently based in Melbourne. He has exhibited at galleries around the world and was nominated for the 2004 Walters Prize. Daniel von Sturmer represented Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2007; and has exhibited at numerous national and international public venues including the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden; the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin and Auckland Art Gallery. Production Stills is a fantastic opportunity for Wellington audiences to see von Sturmer's latest work.
The exhibition is curated by Rob Garrett, who has an extensive background in public art. Garrett recently curated the 5th edition of Narracje (Narratives) with a series of temporary installations and interventions in public space, in Gdańsk, Poland and has curated numerous public art projects in urban spaces as well as city-wide public art plans and policies.
Production Stills will be on display in the Courtenay Place Park light boxes from 6 December 2013 - 6 April 2014.
The project is supported by Wellington City Council’s Public Art Fund.
For More information, please contact:
Rob Garrett, Curator, Phone 021586900 or email
"Office stationery defies gravity in light box exhibition" [scoop.co.nz]
Monash University Fine Art News
City Arts Panui, Wellington City Council arts newsletter
Art News New Zealand, Summer 2013 What’s On
Artists Alliance, What's on