Play On

8 May - 25 July 2010

Slave Pianos’ (Michael Stevenson, Danius Kesminus, Rohan Drape, Neil Kelly) Slave Pianos (of the Art Cult) (1998-1999)

Julian Dashper The Big Bang Theory 1992-1993Michael Parekowhai Ten Guitars 1999Ava Seymour 11 Bars of Oboe 2010Terry Urbahn The Karaokes 1995-1997Julian Dashper The Big Bang Theory 1992-93. Installation Adam Art Gallery 2010Michael Parekowhai Patriot: Ten Guitars 1999. Installation Adam Art Gallery 2010Ten Guitars performance 8 May 2010Slave Pianos (of the Art cult) 1998-99. Installation Adam Art Gallery 2010Ava Seymour 11 Bars of Oboe 2010. Installation Adam Art GalleryTerry Urbahn The Karaokes 1995-97. Installation Adam Art Gallery 2010Slave Pianos Pianology: A Schema and Historio-Materialist Prognostic


Julian Dashper
Michael Parekowhai
Ava Seymour
Slave Pianos
Terry Urbahn

Play On was the first in an occasional series of curated exhibitions designed to investigate the relationships between sound and art, generated from the Adam Art Gallery’s unfolding Sound Check research programme. For this exhibition curator Christina Barton brought together four major works produced in the 1990s by leading New Zealand contemporary artists, and staged these referentially-rich installations alongside a newly commissioned work.

Julian Dashper’s The Big Bang Theory (1992-1993), Michael Parekowhai’s Ten Guitars (1999), Slave Pianos’ [Michael Stevenson, Danius Kesminus, Rohan Drape & Neil Kelly] Slave Pianos (of the Art Cult) (1998-1999), and Terry Urbahn’s The Karaokes (1995-1997), were joined by Ava Seymour’s 11 Bars of Oboe (2010). Each work uses an aspect of music as a metaphor for thinking about art and art history.

Considering the significant ways these installations reflect the social, cultural and critical turns of the 1990s and beyond, and drawing connections between them in terms of their use of music as both subject and form, Play On raised important questions about what art is and how culture works.

Supported by Creative New Zealand, Piano Shop Plimmerton and VBC

Play On Public Programme May-July 2010 [PDF]

Lecture: Robert Leonard on Julian Dashper’s The Big Bang Theory

Lecture: Gregory Sholette on Dark Matter and the Missing Mass of the Contemporary World

Danius Kesminas and Neil Kelly from Slave Pianos on Upbeat Radio New Zealand 17 June 2010

Video documentation of Slave Pianos Pianology performance at the Adam Art Gallery 18 June 2010. Shot by Sally Ann McIntyre

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Where is New Zealand Art History Now? Panel Discussion 10 July 2010

Mile-End Hipsters and the Unmasking of Montreal’s Proletaroid Intelligentsia; or How a Bohemia Becomes Boho. Dr. Geoff Stahl at the Adam Art Gallery 13 July 2010 [PDF]


Play On was accompanied by a catalogue which extrapolated on the artists’ works and the concerns raised by the exhibition. Essayist Christina Barton. Design by The International Office. Order a copy here