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b. 1988, New Zealand

Zac Langdon-Pole Biography

Zac Langdon-Pole's photographic and sculptural practice of found and fabricated artefacts traverses a range of scales from the familial to the celestial, all connected by the artist's interest in memory, translation, and the ordering of social and natural worlds. After gaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Arts, the University of Auckland, in 2010, Langdon-Pole received a Master of Arts from Frankfurt's Städelschule, Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in 2015. In a move that exemplifies his abiding concern with extending the limits of artistic authorship, the artist enlisted—for his final graduating project—his then professor, Willem de Rooij, to photograph a relatively unknown waterfall at the south end of Cooks Beach, on the Coromandel Peninsula.

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My Body ... (Brendan Pole) (2015) consists of a poem re-written by the artist based on a recollection by his mother, Cathy Pole, of a poem her brother Brendan Pole recited in 1991, shortly before he died of HIV-related complications. The work consists of two hundred and ninety-seven photographs of illuminated medieval manuscript characters, which form the poem's individual letters, shuttling between image and text. Gloss (1. - 6.) is an accompanying series of images, cropped from a single family photograph onto which six footnotes have been de-bossed to expand on certain images and lines from the poem. In 2016, the artist developed a third component to the project for La Biennale de Montréal by selecting 'care-takers' to recite the original poem, along with a newly-commissioned French translation upon a gallery visitor's requests.

Langdon-Pole's 'Punctatum' series comprises wooden furniture items shipped from his family home in Aotearoa New Zealand. Once infested with borer beetle (Anobium Punctatum) larvae, the objects have had their tunnels filled with gold as an act of care and restoration that avoids effacing the objects' history as carriers of an invasive foreign threat, once stowed away in chattels brought by European colonists to the South Pacific.

In 2018, the piece and soon the landscape lost all variety extended the act of relocation by taking gallery visitors on a ten-minute walk through Ghent's Citadel Park as part of the artist's exhibition at S.M.A.K. The route led to a local flower shop where visitors were given a free copy of the local newspaper, in which the artist had rented advertising space to re-publish Marguerite Duras' 1957 article, The Algerian's Flowers in the original French, with English, Arabic, and Dutch translations. The text is Duras' eyewitness account of plainclothes police officers harassing a young Algerian man for attempting to sell flowers without a permit on a street corner—not dissimilar to the one the participants in Langdon-Pole's project found themselves choreographed onto.

The 'Passport (Argonauta)' series invokes one of the oldest thought experiments in Western metaphysics, which poses the progressive refurbishment of Theseus' ship as a question on the foundations of 'being' and 'identity'. This suite of work, first presented at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2018, consists of nine unique meteorite fragments handcrafted to fill the apertures of delicate Paper Nautilus Shells, made by the genus of Octopedes known as Argonauts. Here Langdon-Pole's interest in transformation across time and space—and its varying orders of magnitude—manifests in these shaped, polished, and etched objects whose surfaces hint at age-old geological processes.

In 2018, Langdon-Pole was awarded the BMW Art Journey for which he undertook a fully-funded research trip along the earth's axis through Western Europe from London to the Netherlands and France, through the Pacific Islands of Samoa and Hawai'i and the Marshall Islands, ending in his country of birth, Aotearoa New Zealand. His winning proposal, Sutures of the Sky, was structured in part by the flight paths of migratory birds to create an itinerary for the artist's research. Among the project's numerous inquiries was an interest in celestial mapping as a kind of 'ground zero of meaning-making and storytelling'. This focus led the artist on a sprawling search that traced how people have mapped the stars and conceived their environment for millennia. Throughout his travels, Langdon-Pole consulted local scholars, artists, and sailors while using writing, photography, and film to develop and record his many collaborations. A solo presentation of new work resulting from his travels on the BMW Art Journey will be presented at the 2019 edition of Art Basel Miami—accompanied by a multi-authored monograph.

In 2017, Langdon-Pole was one of three recipients of the prestigious ARS VIVA prize—awarded annually to emerging artists living in Germany. He has exhibited in numerous prominent institutions, including: Kunsthalle Darmstadt; S.M.A.K, Ghent; Between Bridges, Berlin; Kunstverein München, Munich; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore; Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt; Kunsthalle Mainz; and La Biennale de Montréal (2016).

Langdon-Pole lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019

Zac Langdon-Pole Featured Artworks

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Kealakekua Bay, Hawai’i 24.01.2019 by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleKealakekua Bay, Hawai’i 24.01.2019, 2019Sand photogram, fiber/baryta-based photographic paper, made with sand from Kealakekua Bay, Hawai’i
62 x 72 x 3.5 cm
Michael Lett Contact Gallery
Assimilation Study by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleAssimilation Study, 2020Painted wooden shape-sorter blocks, hand carved Campo del Cielo meteorite, artist de-signed display case, acrylic, mdf, paint
Michael Lett Contact Gallery
Majuro Atoll 31.01.2019 by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleMajuro Atoll 31.01.2019, 2019Sand photogram (500% enlarged), made with sand from the Marshall Islands, Majuro Atoll, archival Hahnemühle fineart print
152 x 200.7 cm
Michael Lett Contact Gallery
Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cooks Beach 12.06.2019 by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleTe Whanganui-A-Hei / Cooks Beach 12.06.2019, 2019Sand photogram (1000% enlarged), made with sand from Te Whanganui-A-Hei / Cooks Beach, Aotearoa New Zealand, archival Hahnemühle fineart print
301.2 x 394 cm
Michael Lett Contact Gallery
Orbits (Cast Dandelion, Rainbow Obsidian) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleOrbits (Cast Dandelion, Rainbow Obsidian), 2019Anatomical orbital human eye models; resin-embalmed dandelion paperweight; rainbow obsidian sphere; screws.
17 x 20 x 17.2 cm
Michael Lett Contact Gallery
Orbits (Cast Dandelion, Petrified Sequoia Wood) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleOrbits (Cast Dandelion, Petrified Sequoia Wood), 2019anatomical orbital human eye models; resinembalmed dandelion paperweight; petrified sequoia-wood sphere; screws
17 x 20 x 17.2 cm
Michael Lett Contact Gallery
Cleave Study (i) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleCleave Study (i), 2019anatomical human-tongue cross-section, Xenophora shell
10 x 5.5 x 11 cm
Michael Lett Contact Gallery
Cleave Study (ii) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleCleave Study (ii), 2019Anatomical human tongue cross-section, Xenophora shell
10 x 5.5 x 9 cm
Michael Lett Contact Gallery

Zac Langdon-Pole Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Zac Langdon-Pole, Interbeing at Michael Lett, Auckland
Closed
29 January–29 February 2020 Zac Langdon-Pole Interbeing Michael LettAuckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Modern Nature at Michael Lett, Auckland
Closed
14 May–15 June 2019 Group Exhibition Modern Nature Michael LettAuckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Zac Langdon-Pole, Oratory Index at Michael Lett, Auckland
Closed
30 November–23 December 2016 Zac Langdon-Pole Oratory Index Michael LettAuckland

Zac Langdon-Pole Represented By

Michael Lett contemporary art gallery in Auckland, New Zealand Michael Lett Auckland

Zac Langdon-Pole In Ocula Magazine

Leelee Chan Awarded BMW Art Journey 2020 Ocula News Leelee Chan Awarded BMW Art Journey 2020 Hong Kong, 18 June 2020

Pandemic permitting, the Hong Kong artist will visit destinations in Europe, Japan and the Americas to explore the past, present and future of materials.

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Zac Langdon-Pole: Lines of Flight Ocula Conversation Zac Langdon-Pole: Lines of Flight By Tendai John Mutambu, Berlin

Over the last few years, New Zealand-born Berlin -based artist Zac Langdon-Pole has cultivated a practice of elegant, if at times uncanny, elisions. His recombinations of objects, words, and images—poetry, meteorite fragments, literary translations, furniture, photographs, mollusk shells—emphasise, with a fine-tuned lyricism, the...

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Zac Langdon-Pole In Related Press

Berlin-based artist Zac Langdon-Pole’s BMW Art Journey takes flight Related Press Berlin-based artist Zac Langdon-Pole’s BMW Art Journey takes flight 26 December 2018, Wallpaper*

'My interest in celestial mapping is as a kind of ground zero of meaning-making and storytelling', starts Zac Langdon-Pole. 'Connecting the stars and making constellations out of them often tie to origin stories. In this sense, the journey will look at a plurality of origins, and how they do, or do not, relate,' explains the winner of the next BMW...

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The art of celestial mapping Related Press The art of celestial mapping 25 August 2018, NZ Herald

This year, New Zealand artist Zac Langdon-Pole won the art award of a lifetime, the BMW Art Journey prize, on the strength of work exhibited at Art Basel Hong Kong. Berlin-based, Langdon-Pole has just completed a residency on the remote Fogo Island in Newfoundland, Canada — part of winning the 2017/18 Ars Viva Prize in Germany, along with...

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Zac Langdon-Pole named BMW Art Journey Award Winner Related Press Zac Langdon-Pole named BMW Art Journey Award Winner 14 June 2018, Artforum

Art Basel announced that the New Zealand-born, Berlin-based artist Zac Langdon-Pole has been named the next winner of the BMW Art Journey. An international jury unanimously selected Langdon-Pole from a shortlist of three artists whose works were exhibited in the Discoveries sector at this year's Art Basel Hong Kong. Langdon-Pole's installation...

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Speech, Writing and Grief Related Press Speech, Writing and Grief 19 December 2016, EyeContact

This complicated teasing exhibition,  Oratory Index, mainly features six suspended chrome casts, strung up with thick chains at different heights around the upper stairwell, and six softly lit, framed, coloured, digitally printed photographs. The latter are all enigmatic: some with confusingly located body parts; others images reflected on...

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