• Dane Mitchell

Hopkinson Mossman is pleased to present Dust Archive, an off-site exhibition of photographic work by Dane Mitchell.

The exhibition will be open to the public on Thursday 14 March and Friday 15 March from 12-6pm and Saturday 16 March 12-4pm, in a historic space on Quay St.

The Dust Archive is an archive of dust samples collected by the artist from sixty different institutions over a fifteen-year period. The photographs represent select samples that have been cultured (with the assistance of scientists at a local laboratory), then passed through a high-resolution scanner.

Mitchell’s process for Dust Archive follows the basic scientific model of gathering evidence to prove a hypothesis; in this case, to give visible form to an otherwise invisible, dynamic force active in the supposedly neutral, sanitised spaces for presenting art. Mitchell’s work reminds us that no place or thing is immune from dust, it is everywhere, all at once, and despite its innocuous appearance its content is enduring and often surprising.

Importantly, the make-up of the dust and its circulation is due in large part to human bodies moving through the institution. Mitchell’s longstanding interest in the viewing body as an unpredictable force — the subjective element within a supposedly objective system — is here rendered on agar. Captured on a high resolution scanner, the cultured bacteria blooms and streaks across the surfaces in remarkably rich and vivid colours. Mitchell’s photographs are lush, visceral images; some are dense, like star constellations, while others resemble brush marks, unwittingly mimicking the language of abstract painting preserved within and perpetuated by the Museum.

Dane Mitchell (1976, Auckland) has presented solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally in Germany, France, Brazil, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, and the U.S.A. He has also participated in a number of biennales, including Biennale of Sydney 2016, Australia; Gwangju Biennale 2012, South Korea; Liverpool Biennial 2012, United Kingdom; Singapore Biennale 2011; Ljubljana Biennale 2011, Slovenia; Busan Biennale 2010, South Korea, and the Tarrawara Biennial 2018. Recent exhibitions include: Iris, Iris, Iris, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017/2018); OTIUM #3, Institut d’art Contemporain, Lyon (2018); Play Kortrijk, Belgium (2018); Communicating Vessels, Galeria Bunkier Sztuki, Kraków (2017); Occulture: The Dark Arts, City Gallery, Wellington (2017); Aeromancy, Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland (2017); Biennale of Sydney: The future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed, Sydney (2016); Art and the City: Zuricher Kunstfestival, Zurich (2016).

Dane Mitchell is New Zealand’s representative for the 58th Venice Biennale.

For more information, please contact the gallery.

Opening Hours

  • Thursday 14 March and Friday 15 March 12-6pm
  • Saturday 16 March 12-4pm


  • Level 1, 106-108 Quay St
  • (above restaurant Amano)
  • Auckland 1010