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06 April 2024

Book launch, talk and panel discussion: Dr. Mercedes Vicente on Darcy Lange, Videography as Social Practice

Mercedes Vicente, photo supplied.
Darcy Lange, Videography as Social Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2024).


Te Tuhi is hosting a book launch and talk for London-based curator, writer, and researcher Dr. Mercedes Vicente, introducing her new book Darcy Lange: Videography as Social Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2024). A pivotal figure in early analogue video art, this critical monograph of Darcy Lange follows the Aotearoa-born artist's socially engaged video practice, shaped by, and resisting, the artistic, cultural and political preoccupations of the 1970s and 1980s. 

In drawing out themes from her book, Vicente's talk will discuss the work of Lange (born in Taranaki in 1946, died in 2005). Political issues of labour and class, education, and activism were central to Lange's videos, which thus expand our understanding of the video medium beyond the predominant structuralist tendencies of the 1970s. Vicente's book is one culmination of her years-long curatorial and scholarly engagement with Lange, work which was in large part responsible for his current posthumous reception as a significant figure in late-twentieth-century contemporary art and video.

The talk will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A. Vicente will discuss her book with Dr Fiona Amundsen, Associate Professor at the School of Art and Design, Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makau Rau / Auckland University of Technology. The event will be introduced and convened by Eu Jin Chua, Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the Te Pare School of Architecture at Waipapa Taumata Rau / University of Auckland. 

Selected chapters from Lange's video work Studies of Teaching in Four Oxfordshire (1977) will be shown in Te Tuhi's gallery space from 9am to 5pm with a break during the talk. The whole work is around 12 hours; with this selection running for 77 minutes. Studies of Teaching in Four Oxfordshire was commissioned by and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art Oxford in 1977 and was recently remastered and acquired by Tate.

About Darcy Lange
Trained as a sculptor at Elam School of Fine Arts in the 1960’s and the Royal College of Art in London in the 1970’s, Lange pioneered a social documentary practice using video, with remarkable studies of people at work in industrial, farming, and teaching contexts that drew from conceptual art, social documentary and structuralist filmmaking.

One of the first video artists to record in real time, using the ‘long take’ technique, Lange’s novel use of video methods places him at the forefront of video art practices as they began to emerge, both in New Zealand and internationally.

Lange saw in video a democratic tool for social transformation, continuing the legacy of the revolutionary avant-garde projects that merged art with social life and turned audiences into producers

About Mercedes Vicente
Dr. Mercedes Vicente is a curator, writer, and researcher. Vicente has been a Lecturer in Critical and Contextual Studies, Curation, and Film Studies at the Royal College of Art, London Metropolitan University, Central Saint Martins, and London College of Communication. She has held museum positions as Interim Director of Education and Public Programmes at Whitechapel Gallery in London, Curator of Contemporary Art and Darcy Lange Curator-at-large at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, and Research Curatorial Assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She has written extensively for books, exhibition catalogues, and journals. She is the author of Darcy Lange, Videography as Social Practice (Palgrave Macmillan, 2024).

Te Tuhi is open as usual during the Eastern Busway construction. 21 William Roberts Road, Pakuranga, is the best address to enter into navigation apps to guide you to the free parking at our door. Please call us on (09) 577 0138 if you have any questions.