Porous World is an examination of ways of seeing, it gently probes how images are constructed over time and affected by various human histories and world views. Ambitious in scale, this exhibition of all new work by artist Zac Langdon-Pole will be held at Michael Lett’s new premises at 3 East St.
Central to the exhibition are large-scale jigsaw puzzles made up of more than 128,000 individual puzzle pieces. This new suite of major works cleverly re-combines images taken from 19th century Romantic landscape paintings with the latest images from NASA’s Hubble and James Webb Space telescopes.
With these immense jigsaw-puzzle works, titled The Dog God Cycle, Langdon-Pole explores the hidden connections between paintings of 19th century colonial territories with NASA’s imaging of the depths of the universe and examines the idea of ‘the new world’ in completely unexpected ways.
The artist employs what he calls “ghost templates” which are inspired by figure/ground pictures used in psychology. For The Dog-God Cycle Langdon-Pole co-opts this technique so that viewers will find themselves questioning how images function as well as the very ways they view and perceive the world.
A whole host of additional sculptural artworks have been crafted from an astounding range of objects and materials, reflecting Langdon-Pole’s interest in vast human histories and knowledges including geology, astronomy and environmental sciences.
The materials and objects used include ancient arrowheads, typewriters, historic ceramic fragments, meteorites, magnets, mollusk shells, fossils, crystals, metric rulers, educational toys, semi-precious gemstones and borer-ridden wooden furniture that has been restored with gold leaf.
Together these diverse materials and large-scale artworks enable what the artist has called a “poetry of looking.”
Porous World uses images and objects to look at the various ways knowledge and culture have been transferred throughout human history. Guided by a relentless curiosity and applying a tender scrutiny to the world around him, Langdon-Pole creates enigmatic artworks that trace the myriad historical forces that have deposited us into the present.
About the artist
Zac Langdon-Pole (b. 1988) is a New Zealand artist based in Tāmaki Makaurau. His photographic and sculptural work of found and fabricated artefacts traverses a range of scales from the familial to the celestial, all connected by the artist’s interest in memory, translation, and the ordering of social and natural worlds. After gaining a BFA (Hons) from Elam School of Fine Arts, at the University of Auckland, in 2010, Langdon-Pole received a Meisterschüler from Frankfurt’s Städelschule, in 2015.
A survey of his practice, Containing Multitudes, was exhibited at City Gallery Wellington, Te Whare Toi, in 2020. In 2018 Langdon-Pole was selected as the seventh recipient of the BMW Art Journey and in 2017 he was the recipient of the Ars Viva Prize. Recent projects include: Lines of Flight / Lignes de Fuite at the Centre International d'Art et du Paysage, L'île de Vassivière, France (2022) Splendide Mendax, (with Daniel Boyd) at STATION Gallery, Melbourne (2021-2022) and the body and its outside, Michael Lett, Auckland (2021). From February to May 2022 Langdon-Pole was the McCahon House Artist in Residence at Parehuia, Titirangi.
About the gallery
Michael Lett 3 East St is a new project space in Tamaki Mākaurau Auckland. Located
alongside the existing Karangahape Road gallery, this space opens up additional possibilities for the presentation of artists’ work. The new 12,000-square-foot space is located in the historic Methodist Mission Hall, opened in 1909 and designed by Alexander Wiseman (1865-1915), the architect of Auckland’s iconic Ferry Building. Co-Director Andrew Thomas notes. “This new space reaffirms our commitment to growing opportunities for artists to present ambitious exhibitions in Auckland.”