Curiosity for the work of Darcy Lange (Aotearoa/New Zealand,1946-2005), a video art pioneer and flamenco guitarist, has led the artists that make up Tractora Koop. E. to present Landa Lan. A Documentation of Darcy Lange. This exhibition project results from a work methodology divided into various phases: an initial period devoted to the intensive viewing of Lange's video work, which was completed by a second viewing period in the company of Mercedes Vicente, an expert on the artist's work. It was also her who built Darcy Lange’s personal archive, which in a third stage travelled to Tabakalera in order to be studied.
Formed as a sculptor in New Zealand and London, in 1972 Darcy Lange began recording what he called work studies, durational video observations of people working, an activity he would carry on throughout his lifetime. The type of works and contexts that Lange depicts vary greatly —factories, mines, workshops, schools, stockbreeding farms, allotment gardens, domestic environments, rural sports, artists’ and musicians’ studios—, and they cross the distant geographies he travelled through, amongst which New Zealand, England, Scotland, and Spain stand out. The videotapes that he shot, mostly first generation ½ inch open-reel magnetic tapes, were always accompanied by photographs and in some cases by film, comprising groups that he called "documentations" or "studies".
Lange's work is demanding in terms of its duration, extension and formal austerity, which has challenged its accessibility. One of his work's indomitable potencies is precisely its resistance to an economy of the image whose main feature is to be found in linear editing and the reduction of experience to a communicable product. Lange's work is also sensual, insomuch as the relation between body and technique is explored symmetrically from both sides of the camera. Just as when we turn the palms of our hands in a concentric movement in order to face them and, in this exercise, for a moment, we doubt whether it is them instead who look at us, Lange's work is also woven in a double movement of empathy and abstraction.
Landa Lan. A Documentation of Darcy Lange is the result of the work of a group of artists in order to understand another artist and his contexts through the archive that all of his documents make up; an articulation that crosses the work and the life of Darcy Lange, and now also that of Tractora. In the Basque language, “landa lan” means both field work and to work the field. The displacement beyond the limits of the artist's studio or workshop, the document status of the elements presented, and the experimental exercise are common traits of the materials that make up the exhibition as well as the activities that surround it.
This exhibition has been possible thanks to the generosity of the Darcy Lange Estate and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (New Plymouth, Aotearoa/New Zealand).
This show results from the curating residency developed by Tractora Koop. E. at Tabakalera during 2017.
ORRIAK. PUBLICATION THAT ACCOMPANIES THE EXHIBITION:
Read it on Issuu: Orriak 12 - Landa Lan
Pdf download: Orriak 12 - Landa Lan (pdf - 1.34mb)
Read it on Issuu: Documentation
Pdf download: Documentation (pdf - 0.6mb)