Adrian Hall


11 Oct — 05 Nov 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.