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Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director Ocula Conversation Pierre Huyghe: The Artist as Director

Pierre Huyghe is a producer of spectacular and memorable enigmas, with works that function more like mirages than as objects. Abyssal Plain (2015–ongoing), his contribution to the 2015 Istanbul Biennial, curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, was installed on the seabed of the Marmara Sea, some 20 metres below the surface of the water and close to...

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MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern Ocula Report MoMA Expansion: Once the Modern, Always the Modern 29 Nov 2019 : Mohammad Salemy for Ocula

In the early decades of its existence, New York's Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), founded in 1929, transformed from a philanthropic project modestly housed in a few rooms of the Heckscher Building on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, to an alleged operating node in the United States' cultural struggle during the cold war, and one of the...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Zac Langdon-Pole

b. 1988, New Zealand

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.

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.

Biography by Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019
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Featured Artworks

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Orbits (Cast Dandelion, Rainbow Obsidian) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleOrbits (Cast Dandelion, Rainbow Obsidian), 2019 anatomical orbital human eye models; resinembalmed dandelion paperweight; rainbow obsidian sphere; screws
17 x 20 x 17.2 cm
Michael Lett
Orbits (Cast Dandelion, Petrified Sequoia Wood) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleOrbits (Cast Dandelion, Petrified Sequoia Wood), 2019 anatomical orbital human eye models; resinembalmed dandelion paperweight; petrified sequoia-wood sphere; screws
17 x 20 x 17.2 cm
Michael Lett
Cleave Study (i) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleCleave Study (i), 2019 anatomical human-tongue cross-section, Xenophora shell
10 x 5.5 x 11 cm
Michael Lett
Cleave Study (ii) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleCleave Study (ii), 2019 anatomical human tongue cross-section, Xenophora shell
10 x 5.5 x 9 cm
Michael Lett
Orbits (Turritella Fossil Jasper, Rainbow Obsidian) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleOrbits (Turritella Fossil Jasper, Rainbow Obsidian), 2019 anatomical orbital eye models; Turtitella fossil jasper sphere; rainbow obsidian sphere; screws
17 x 20 x 17.2 cm
Michael Lett
Treptower Park, Berlin 01.05.2019 by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleTreptower Park, Berlin 01.05.2019, 2019 sand photogram, fiber/baryta-based photographic paper, made with sand from the Weltspielplatz in Treptower Park, Berlin
62 x 72 x 3.5 cm
Michael Lett
Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands 31.01.2019 by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PoleMajuro Atoll, Marshall Islands 31.01.2019, 2019 sand photogram (1000% enlarged), made with sand from Majuro Atoll, The Marshall Islands, archival hahnemühle fineart print
303 x 400 cm
Michael Lett
Passport (Argonauta) (ii) by Zac Langdon-Pole contemporary artwork
Zac Langdon-PolePassport (Argonauta) (ii), 2018 paper nautilus shell, Sikhote Alin meteorite (iron; coarse octahedrite, landsite: Sikhote Alin mountains, Russia)
10.3 x 3 x 5.5 cm
Michael Lett

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Modern Nature at Michael Lett, Auckland
Closed
14 May–15 June 2019 Group Exhibition Modern Nature Michael Lett, Auckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Zac Langdon-Pole, Oratory Index at Michael Lett, Auckland
Closed
30 November–23 December 2016 Zac Langdon-Pole Oratory Index Michael Lett, Auckland
Contemporary art exhibition, Zac Langdon-Pole, Pale Ideas at Michael Lett, Auckland
Closed
30 May–3 August 2013 Zac Langdon-Pole Pale Ideas Michael Lett, Auckland

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Zac Langdon-Pole: Lines of Flight Ocula Conversation Zac Langdon-Pole: Lines of Flight

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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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 Wallpaper* : 26 December 2018

'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 NZ Herald : 25 August 2018

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 Artforum : 14 June 2018

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 at...

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

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 suspended...

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7 new artworks by Zac Langdon-Pole have recently been added to Ocula. Sign up to be among the first to know when new works become available.

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