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Kiran X and Danial Gorringe

Press Release: For Immediate Release 18.05.06

ROAR! Gallery

55 Abel Smith St, Above Real Groovy, Wellington
Wed 11-5, Thur 11-6, Fri 11-5, Sat 11-5

‘New Man, New Order’

New drawings by Daniel Gorringe using found images to question our
ideals of the ‘perfect’ body.

‘Town, interrupting’

Mixed media stencil and graffiti works by Kiran_X exploring identity and
the urban environment

Kiran_X combines stenciling, mixed media painting and experimental drawing. He develops further the themes which he has addressed in his practice; the textural urban environment: age, decay, structural complexes, social subcultures and the town as a metaphor for the mind.

He engages with questions surrounding street art and its recent embrace by the art world;

“I am fascinated in the contextual transformation from street mark making into an intellectualized aesthetic as it is introduced in the art gallery system. Questions are raised as to whether the work loses its status, spatial context and attitude when formalized in a gallery, although the gallery has the potential to act as a filter for the stigma attached to street art, creating a forum to educate the public on its values?

Because of these processes, discussion and notoriety, street art has long since been removed from being an act of gang related vandalism motivated by boredom. I see it is the perfect design, but stripped of any resolution or affiliation. Traditionally street artists are unknown or have pseudonyms, which places greater emphasis on the works as an urban personality and entity. The work belongs to the city like a puzzle piece or a tattoo whether on a wall of a construction site wall or gallery. Street art could be likened to ones abstract or schizophrenic identity.

‘Town, interrupting’ is my identification card. I’ve developed a personalized scrawl aesthetic to present visually how I think when influenced by the textures of the urban environment and how the reaction makes up my personality. The gallery acts as a metaphor to an avenue of my mind where these cognitions are at work.”

We all want everything to be perfect. Right? Perfect house, car, job, partner and body. We strive for a better life, working hard, home decorating, and exercising dutifully at the gym, in a quest to be better, thinner, fitter, and closer to the ideal. This is in part a natural human drive for progress, but it has a dark side. What do we do with all those bits which aren’t perfect or ideal? Disregard them? Discard them? Destroy them?

Daniel Gorringe’s work explores questions of the binary opposition of perfect with imperfect, and questions which is the evil twin. Gorringe uses found images from stills from Leni Riefenstahl’s film of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, in which idealised and ‘perfect’ bodies are captured. Over these he draws ghosts of the bodies which are excluded by the tyranny of the perfect; the misshapen, misplaced other selves. The drawing, done by hand over such polished photographic images reminds us subtly that the frailties which make us human are often hidden, written and drawn in private diaries while the ideal front is kept in place for public contact.

“The quest for the perfect being necessitates the violent displacement of the ‘imperfect.’ A thought more alarming still, when we realise what constitutes ‘perfect’ is frighteningly subjective. Furthermore we have left this subjective decision to those perhaps we shouldn’t have trusted.”

Riefenstahl’s film was made for the IOC rather than the Nazi Party, but association with the Nazis has tainted the work; along with Leni’s perceived position as ‘official film-maker of Nazi Germany’ as seen in her seminal propagandistic work Triumph of the Will. By appropriating the images Gorringe reminds of the dangers of idealizing and worshipping only a select group of society, not only to the exclusion, persecution and genocide of targeted groups, but also to the detriment of us all in the denial of a full humanity, in which we are allowed to be less than perfect, to be, instead, simply human.

The New Man; The Superman; Here is His tomb. Dream and messiah of the twentieth century, His coming was celebrated and feted by the would-be New Order of the Third Reich.

So here is a miscarried future, a dream of things never to come, now decrepit, dusty and forgotten.

Here, mummified, the New Man, perfect and archaic, forgotten as we have forgotten the Future.

Remember: This was meant to replace You.


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