The catalogue for this exhibition is red. It is a small rectangular booklet with white text. There seems to be some conflict here between what we see and what we understand. Dashper’s exhibition in the Iris Fisher gallery at te tuhi - the mark in Pakuranga takes us into the space between ‘what we see’ and ‘what we get’ - questioning the way art is seen, understood, and experienced.
In the te tuhi - the mark exhibition there is a small drum-set entitled Untitled: The Warriors, and a speaker emitting recorded sounds. Carefully aligned along the walls of the gallery are 20 clear circular records, two black and white paintings, and 20 sheets of blue paper entitled Untitled: Blue CV. This last work outlines Dashper’s considerable history as a national and international artist - he has recorded over 100 exhibitions in New Zealand, Australia, Europe and America. The artist and hist work are presented as an idea.
The exhibition is supplemented by a four-hour DVD presentation showing Dashper in four interviews about his art. He is shown as a confident and approachable guy, an earnest artist, an academic and an art historian. He answers questions about his work for each audience. Could this presentation of four hours be ‘for real’? Are we really expected to sit in a darkened gallery and watch a ‘talking head’ for four hours? What do we really get?
This is an exhibition that raises questions about the nature of art and the role of the artist in our time. There are layers of references and connections to be found in contemplating these works - the ideas evoked may be intriguing, exciting or interesting depending upon the viewer’s willingness to participate in the ‘art game’ being played out in the galleries.