Adrian Hall's installation
October 11 - November 5 2000
A Bananaconda is like a Drop Bear, or a Moa
even. Without the bones. We create our own animal icons and hell, and they live their own
lives in our deep imaginings. As an eternal test of faith, in the arena. With whatever
carapaces or images we try to construct and find for them. Carl A. Mears
This installation by Adrian Hall is presented
by The Physics Room in conjunction with the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, and the Otago
Polytechnic's Artists At Work programme, as part of the Colloquium series. A major survey
of post-object art practices which occurred in New Zealand during the period 1970-1985,
Colloquium provides a critical context within which to view a period which has informed
much of our subsequent arts practice. Through his time as artist in residence at the Elam
School of Fine Arts in 1970-1971, Sydney based artist Adrian Hall played a vital role in
helping to define this period's move away from viewing the artwork as a commodity into a
decade of collusion, fissure, change, experimentation and energy.
In Adrian Hall's installation BANANACONDA,
the remnants of pool toys appear curled across gallery walls and ceilings like marauding
invaders, encased within fibreglass shells, their surfaces scarred and translucent.
Drawing on the language of sci-fi special effects, and with a playful nod to the movie
Anaconda, these creatures bear the vestiges of making in their faint chemical traces
"hollow containment's shriveled flatulent and detumesent, stinking." Larger than
life banners span the walls, imprinted with ghostly images, blurred in a motion which
suggest human presence.
In an accompanying opening night performance,
the artist perched atop a giant beach ball, it's lurid colours and playful imagery a
contrast to the increasing physicality of his demenour, face strained as he struggled to
remain stable on a teetering balloon. Tension built for the clusters of viewers as the
balloon, shifting constantly under Hall's weight, came to rest on top of a powering hair
dryer, its heat cutting disively thru the thin plastic covering, whereapon the balloon
shrivelled and sighed, and Hall sunk to the ground.