31 August 2012 to 20 October 2012
Tue - Fri 10am - 5pm, Sat 12 - 4pm
Venue: The Gus Fisher Gallery, 74 Shortland St
Contact info: 09 923 6646
Opening: Friday 31 August, 5.30pm
Choreographer Douglas Wright is regarded as one of New Zealand’s most visionary artists. In his 30-year career, he has created more than 40 dance-theatre works. Many of these works have explored what it is to be human, the depths of the human spirit, and our ongoing relationships with life and death.
Audiences at Wright’s performances typically find themselves precariously poised at the edge of their emotions. Fleeting images are at once terrifying and exquisitely beautiful and, though ephemeral by nature, their profundity endures – so much so that when Wright’s dance-theatre work Forever premiered in Switzerland, it was hailed as “an overwhelming contemporary contribution to the history of our life and times.”
The exhibition Douglas Wright: Body of Work gathers work that highlights the extraordinary output of Wright’s body throughout his career. It shows documentation of work in progress – photographs by John Savage, Peter Molloy, MikiNobu Komatsu, Peter Dömötör, and others, capture exquisite flights exerted by uncommon bodies, as well as the complex psyche of Wright’s most seminal choreographies.
Also on show, in a more domestic setting evocative of Wright’s home, are his choreographic workbooks; paintings, sculptures, small installations and drawings, the making of which Wright describes as miniature gestural choreography; and his memoirs and drafts of poems that echo the text of his workbooks – vivid metaphors that give rise to the dances that imprint themselves onto the minds of their audiences long after the curtain has closed.
Wright began dancing with Limbs Dance Company in 1980 and quickly established himself as an important choreographer with works such as Gloria and Forever (made for the Douglas Wright Dance Company). He is also an acclaimed writer: his first book Ghost Dance (part memoir, part love story) won the E.H. McCormick Best First Book of Non-Fiction in 2000 and is included in Fifty Gay and Lesbian Books Everybody Must Read. In 2000, he was chosen as one of five inaugural Arts Foundation of New Zealand Laureates. His most recent production rapt was presented at the 2011 Auckland Festival, and has been invited to be performed in The Hague, Holland, in 2013.
Presented in association with Tempo Dance Festival 2012 and Dance Studies, The University of Auckland. Sponsored by SweeneyVesty and Katrina Todd. Curated by Georgina White.