by Anna Rathman
The Suburban is currently hosting ‘SUBSTANCE (for Julian)’ a collaboration, or rather integration, of work by artists Julian Dashper and Tilman Hoepfl. The exhibit, created by Hoepfl, memorializes the recently deceased Dashper. It features an artist book and installation, both specifically made for the show, by Hoepfl, complemented by Dashper’s audio track, “Untitled/ Studio Door”. The exhibition reveals the commonalities between the artists’ work, through its focus on the minimalist and deductive qualities of both.
Julian Dashper, who passed away on July 30 of this year, was one of few New Zealand artists to make it onto the international stage. He worked in several media including sculpture, film, photography, and sound. Work that ranged from “Untitled (The Warrior)”, a drum set with colored disks as drumheads, to films like “Untitled (the last 15 seconds of the last Venice Biennale”, all functioned to abstract the familiar. “Untitled/ Studio Door”, a part of the SUBSTANCE exhibit, is a 1 minute 15 second sound recording of a door opening, rocking back and forth, and closing. The work balances the banality of a creaking door, by manipulating the sound into a soothing hum. The result is a heightened attention to the sound’s character, and dissolution of its source.
For the exhibition, Hoepfl created a site-specific installation of alternating strips of red chromolux and white bristol board encircling the room. The work employs a similar technique to Dashper’s sound piece, in the way it draws attention to the familiar by sharply contrasting it. The white board blends with the white wall, but the red draws it out; in the same way, the droning highlights the door creaking. Hoepfl continues using red and white stripes in his artist book. The book, which consists of rectangles of varying widths, allows the handler to manipulate (to a certain degree) the ways in which the two colors interact.
The similarity between Hoepfl and Dashper’s work, and the contrast between media makes them wonderful complements. By integrating Dashper’s work subtly into the show and working around it, Hoepfl has created a beautiful living memorial to his fellow minimalist.