Daniel Malone

Daniel Malone 2003

Welcome to the bricks 2004
edited documentation of performance and slide-talk

Bricks break dialectics 2009
performance, installation

With all kinds of delays 2009
cast glass from Adam Art Gallery window, after Billy Apple® Window cleaning June 1971/2009

The work of Daniel Malone is often associated with the widespread re-assessment of 1960-70s conceptual art practice. However, he has consistently brought surprising elements to bear on this legacy, creating many seemingly disparate but simultaneous strands of work that are only recently being considered in relation to one another. He has long-worked across media including performance, sculpture, video, sound, painting, photography, graphic design, and ceramics, using these as a vehicle for his ideas. Malone is adroit at creating situations, assemblages, and spaces that play with preconceptions of familiar social and cultural identity and behaviours; these are often context specific but importantly also systematically explore a number of ongoing philosophical and political questions.

Welcome to the bricks 2004
In 2004 as part of the public programme to accompany Concrete Horizons: Contemporary Art from China at the Adam Art Gallery, Malone was invited to present work he had produced during six months spent living in Beijing. This body of work centred on a series of documentary photographs depicting the city’s rapid urban reconstruction and focused on the brick as a leitmotif of this moment within the continuum of China’s long history of building.

Malone had exhibited these images alongside a series of ceramic bricks each impressed with the chai ‘logo’, a reference to a symbol Malone had observed written on the walls of sites awaiting demolition and development. With this in mind, Malone proposed to the Adam Art Gallery a kind of performative slideshow of his photographic series, beginning with the throwing of one of his chai-inscribed bricks through the gallery’s front window. The window would be replaced by workers behind him as the talk progressed. After an extended dialogue, this idea remained unacceptable to the gallery and Malone presented the images and a discussion based around this idea and its rejection instead.

Bricks break dialectics 2009
Five years later, for The Future Is Unwritten Malone revisited this proposal, and with curator Laura Preston developed the work further to incorporate a number of present and possible future conditions, including reference to the prior installation in the window gallery by Billy Apple® with the statement ‘The inside dirt is separated from the outside dirt by 6mm’, and its subsequent gifting to the Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection.

With all kinds of delays 2009
After Malone’s brick was thrown through the window to signal the opening of the show, the brick remained installed on the gallery floor ‘where it landed’ and the window boarded up, until the shattered remains of the window were cast to produce a glass brick to replace the ceramic one in the gallery. This object then entered the Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection.

Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection statement:
Billy Apple (produced by the action of Daniel Malone)
With all kind of delays 2009

Cast glass brick made to the dimensions of the brick thrown through the Adam Art Gallery window on 10 July 2009
Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection, purchased 2009

Daniel Malone threw a brick through the window of the Adam Art Gallery on the opening night of the exhibition The Future is Unwritten, in a performance he titled: Brick Breaks Dialectic. He undertook this in delayed fulfilment of a proposal he had mooted to the gallery in 2004. Malone’s realisation of this deferred action was undertaken in response to the curatorial brief for the exhibition which invited nine artists to envisage the future by means of a direct engagement with the architecture of the building. For some weeks the brick lay where it fell beside the boarded up window and the pile of broken glass, together with video documentation of both his artist’s talk in 2004 in which he had first canvassed the idea and footage of his action on opening night. Towards the end of the exhibition, the shattered glass was boxed and sent to a foundry where it was melted and re-cast in the shape of the clay brick, thus creating a new object that rendered concrete his transgressive act. Now titled With all kinds of delays, the glass brick has been acquired for the collection, as the third and final step in the artist’s project.

The twist to this action is that the work is attributed to Billy Apple. The artist’s decision to assign this name to his work has its own history. Most obviously it refers to the fact that Malone’s project followed on from Billy Apple’s Window cleaning 1971/2009 which was presented in the gallery in the preceding exhibition. But it also alludes to the fact that Malone legally changed his name in 1996 to ‘Billy Apple’ a gesture conceived for the exhibition Sharp and Shiny at the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth which addressed the subject of fetishism in art, in which Malone directed attention to Apple’s own name change (from Barrie Bates to Billy Apple) in 1962, as a mythic event in the senior artist’s biography. Given its assigned authorship, Malone’s work will not settle comfortably into the University’s art collection, instead it provides a fascinating tool to unpack the processes by which works of art are realised, become branded commodities, are collected and ultimately enter art history. With All Kinds of Delays addresses the challenge of how to ‘collect’ performance art as well as how to produce a work that, as a fragment of a temporal and site-specific intervention, preserves a distance to the event of its origin, yet can also be encountered as an autonomous aesthetic object that as a conceptual placeholder generates lasting discursive effects.

Recent exhibition projects include: The English Teacher, Gambia Castle, Auckland, 2009; Urban Stories: The X Baltic Triennial of International Art, Vilnius, Lithuania, 2009; Third Guangzhou Triennial, China, 2008; Upadajac/Powstajac Uprising/Downrising, Kordegarda, Zacheta National Gallery, Warsaw, Poland, 2008; Black Market Next To My Name, Gambia Castle, Auckland, 2007; SB2006, Singapore Biennale, curated by Fumio Nanjo, Roger McDonald, Sharmini Pereira, Eugene Tan, Singapore, 2006 and Local Transit, curated by Christian Rattemeyer and Brian Butler, Artists Space, New York City, 2006. Malone is currently based in Warsaw, Poland.

Window Shopping in Brick City / Daniel Malone

Beijing 2003

Daniel Malone Chai Brick

Billy Apple New York 1969-1973