Heart of Glass

archived
15 Mar – 7 Apr

Isabella Dampney, Theo Macdonald

Heart of Glass is a collaborative project by Isabella Dampney and Theo Macdonald that plays between pop culture, present day media discourse and the contemporary art history of Aotearoa.

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Borrowing its name from Blondie’s 1979 hit single and a 1976 Werner Herzog film of the same title, Heart of Glass revolves around a simple intervention: breaking one of Enjoy Public Art Gallery’s windows.

During their exhibition, Dampney and Macdonald will seek to engage outlets such as public radio and local newspapers—platforms that were central to social and cultural life during Blondie’s reign at the top of the charts—to discuss their motives. Contemplating a recent history of encounters between contemporary art and the mainstream media in Aotearoa, the artists are interested in the risks and possibilities of actively pursuing such discussions.

Dampney and Macdonald have previously performed together in the band PISS CANNONN, and recorded a cover of ‘Heart of Glass’ to coincide with the exhibition (listen or download here). The cover is accompanied by a music video reworking footage from Herzog’s film with animations that resemble the films of Len Lye. Touching on the legacies of artists like Julian Dashper, who produced records based on impromptu performances, Heart of Glass also considers generational shifts and forerunners to emerging artistic practice in Aotearoa.

 

"Young artists break gallery window for new exhibition," The Independent Herald, February 14, 2018

"The New Zealand Music Show : 27/02/18," Radio Active, February 27, 2018

"The New Zealand Music Show: 21/03/18 with George," Radio Active, March 21, 2018

Jonathan Brumley, "A smashed window inspired by a smash hit," Concrete Playground, March 27, 2018

Louis Davies, "Pair hope to shatter modern art myths," The Dominion Post, March 29, 2018

Jo Mells, "Our hollow consumer culture," Letter to the Editor, The Dominion Post, March 31, 2018 

Interview, Caffeine and Asprin, March 31, 2018

Annabella Gamboni, "Is that it?" Regional News, April 3, 2018

Isabella Dampney and Theo Macdonald, "her auz glaz," Interview by Mitch Alison, lo&behold, April 6, 2018 

Simon Gennard, "Art is Useless," Art+Australia, 2018

Publication

Heart of Glass

Published in response to the exhibition, Heart of Glass brings together a selection of media responses to the exhibition alongside a commissioned texts and interviews by writers from a range of creative disciplines.

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Isabella Dampney and Theo Macdonald, Heart of Glass, 2018. Image courtesy of Xander Dixon.

Isabella Dampney and Theo Macdonald, Heart of Glass, 2018. Image courtesy of Xander Dixon.

About the artists

Isabella Dampney completed a BFA (Hons) at the Elam School of Fine Arts in 2016. Working predominantly in performance, video, writing, and sculpture, her work often fixates on a strive for perfection. Selected exhibitions include: Bella and Theo IDEATE!, RM Gallery, 2017; PISS CANNONN, Audio Foundation, 2017; TUCAT Telethon (Auckland Hosts), Enjoy Public Art Gallery, 2017; I Think We Should Put Some Mountains Here, Rockies, 2016; Avoiding Climax: Bella and Theo Understand it Better but the Frog Dies, Window Gallery, 2016; How’s Life Sweetheart?, Elam Projectspace, 2016; Group Shower, Fuzzy Vibes, 2015.

Theo Macdonald recently completed a BFA (Hons) at the Elam School of Fine Arts, where he worked in video, text, and performance. Theo co-hosts the weekly radio show Artbank, on 95bFM, and co-founded the art-punk band PISS CANNONN with Isabella Dampney. Selected exhibitions include: The Tomorrow People, Adam Art Gallery, 2017; Bella and Theo IDEATE!, RM Galery, 2017; Trust Us Contemporary Art Trust Telethon, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, 2017; The Tomorrow People, Adam Art Gallery, 2017; New Perspectives, Artspace New Zealand, 2016; Is it the Beginning of a New Age?, The Engine Room, 2016; I Think We Should Put Some Mountains Here, Rockies, 2016; Avoiding Climax: Bella and Theo Understand it Better but the Frog Dies, Window Gallery, 2016; Group Shower, Fuzzy Vibes, 2015.