Dan Arps – Walters Prize 2010 awardee

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Monday 11 October 2010
Ron Brownson

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The Walters Prize 2010 has been awarded to Dan Arps for his installation Explaining Things
At the Walters Prize 2010 gala dinner on Friday 8 October the International judge, former Tate Modern director Vicente Todolí, said that he wanted to acknowledge each of the four artists; as their artwork was of an exceptional merit.

Vicente then described what he admired about each project. Here is what he said about each of the artists’ work:

Alex Monteith
“For what could be described as a hyper-real road movie
as well as a tightrope walking performance.
In her twin video projection,
Alex presents an amazing choreography
between two huge engined centaurs -
as they interpret their geometricised dance
to the music of horsepower.”

Dan Arps

“For the transformative power of this artist’s vision -
Dan’s alchemical display
involves all our senses.
Reversing Jules Verne’s story
Around the World in 80 Days
we could say that his installation
takes us on a metaphorical trip
around the day in eighty worlds.”

Fiona Connor

“For the dialectical transference and occupation
of gallery space.
Through the use of meta-spatial trompe l’œil
her sculpture both rejects us and attracts us
as spectators in what constitutes a comment
on the ambivalent relationships between the artist
and the art world.
In Fiona’s case, what you see
is not what you get.”

Saskia Leek

“For turning the heroics of the modern avant garde
into a very intimate and contemporary painting exercise
where the structure of colour
becomes a threshold between
four intersecting worlds -
the abstract and the figurative
the real and the imagined.”

In awarding the Walters Prize 2010 to Dan Arps for his installation Explaining Things, Vicente Todolí stated:

“I have awarded this prize to Dan Arps because he has created a total work of art in the Wagnerian sense of ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’. His work is a development of a concept first created by James Joyce in Ulysses, which is the epiphany of everyday life.

This idea was highly influential on Duchamp, when he developed the concept of the ‘Readymade’, and was transmitted into the present through movements like Fluxus and Pop.

In this case, it would be the epiphany of the humble and the rejected. The artist has transformed these found materials through his own editing and his process of amelioration and has taken them into another, higher realm.

Through this process, Dan Arps has turned his installation into an alchemical chamber. He incorporates such a diversity of art disciplines in the treatment of such dissimilar elements, which results in the creation of a conglomerate where the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. Each of them radiates into the empty spaces between them, turning Explaining Things into a revelatory multi-layered experience."

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On behalf of the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, I warmly congratulate Dan Arps for his outstanding contribution to the Walters Prize 2010.

Yesterday, in our conversation, Dan said how much he was looking forward to his next exhibition projects. We all wish Dan every success in the future. An exceptional artist with a tremendous talent!