by Insiders Dunedin

Dunedin actor, director and flaneur Patrick Davies appears in Goldin + Senneby's show M&A, on now at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.

A pair of Swedish artists, a mergers & acquisitions expert and computer programmer in New York City, a playwright in Wellington and a curator and actor in both Auckland in Dunedin. What sounds like the convoluted beginning to a terrible joke is actually the personnel requirements of Goldin + Senneby's M&A, a joint project by the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Artspace in Auckland. 

From Wednesday - Sunday, 10am - 6pm, 'Actor' Patrick Davies will be in the DPAG, rehearsing a play (copies of the script are available at the door). Hey may cycle endlessly through the piece, fixate on a segment on it, meditate, involve any audience who might be watching, draw stock market graphs on the wall in paint. The piece he is rehearsing was written especially for the show by 'Writer' Jo Randerson. He was chosen by 'Curator' Aaron Kreisler (curator of the DPAG). She was chosen especially by Swedish duo Goldin + Senneby (the 'Artists' in this arrangement). Simultaneously, another actor in Auckland rehearses the same script in whatever manner take him. 

The two actors are very much connected not only by the identical scripts they are learning, but also by their faith in the world of high finance to make sure they get paid. Outside the theatrics of the gallery, Goldin + Senneby hired an M&A expert and a computer programmer, the former feeding tips into especially designed algorithms by the latter. The money that is in the fund determines how much the two actors get paid, and how long they get to rehearse / perform. The bottom could fall out of it today, and the show - which only opened this past Saturday - would be over. This is to say, don't leave it until the last minute to see this show, because the performative element of it has a very volatile shelf life.

On Mondays & Tuesday, and potentially the days after the payroll fund crashes, the remnants of the rehearsal process are on display; masking tape on the floor, flourishes of paint on the wall, cases of props. Davies' series of rehearsals love gradually around the white cube he is working in, leaving a trail of marks behind him. In an odd, expressionistic way (and the performance of turning the preparation of performance into the work itself certainly has roots in the Expressionistic / Brechtian work of the early-mid 20th Century) the trace elements work as a show in and of themselves. If you're less interested in the aura, you really should go down and see the work In Action. 


M&A is on now at the DPAG, in some form, until April 21. While the money is still there, Patrick Davies will be rehearsing Wed-Sun, 10am-6pm. The DPAG is open every day over the Easter Holidays. 

Post Submitted by Aaron Hawkins

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