press release

Starkwhite is pleased to present Beyond, an exhibition of works by three artists who engage the paranormal in their practices - Tamar Guimaraes' A Man Called Love, works from Dane Mitchell's Conjuring Form project, and Georgina Starr's I Am The Medium.

TAMAR GUIMARAES (BR) Tamar Guimaraes' poetic slide show A Man Called Love (2007) tells the true story of Francisco Candido Xavier (1910- 2002) a Brazilian psychic medium who dedicated his life to writing down the words spoken to him by the dead. The most prolific psychographer of all time, he wrote over 400 books. In the 1960s and 1970s he was a celebrity in Brazil, drawing large crowds whenever he appeared in public. His novel Our Home (first published in 1944 and continually in print ever since) describes a city where the recently deceased learn and work. It goes on to narrate a tropical vision of social democracy, describing a town with magnificent squares and benches for a million people, where delicate flowers grow amid illuminated fountains. For Guimaraes, speaking Xavier requires addressing Brazil's race and class relations, and its military dictatorship from 1964 to 1985, during which Xavier enjoyed his greatest popularity. She addresses the development of Spiritism in Brazil, its early association with utopian socialisms, and subsequent distancing from them during the dictatorship. A Man Called Love makes use of archival images of Xavier, of spirit materialisations produced in the 1930s and 1940s in Brazil, of Rio and Sao Paulo, and of protests against the military regime in the late 1960s.

DANE MITCHELL (NZ) In his meddling with the unknown, Mitchell has commissioned witches to curse galleries, crafted portals to the spirit world, and measured the shifting temperatures in the cavities of gallery walls. In BEYOND Mitchell literally speaks through an object in order to facilitate a concentrated gaze to allow for aura-sight and enact the spectre of an 'Apport' - the transference of an object from one location to another. These works were first exhibited as part of Mitchell's project Conjuring Form at Art Statements, Art 39 Basel, and sit within his wider strategy - enacting idiosyncratic critiques and elucidating the customs and pathologies that detail the mechanisms at work in the construction of culture.

GEORGINA STARR (UK) In 2008 Starr began a year of monthly sittings with psychic mediums. She started at the Spiritualist Society in Belgrave Square and went on to visit a different psychic in a different location each month. She chose the psychic carefully to reveal the unique approaches, methods, personalities and skills involved in spiritualism in the 21st century. The psychics knew nothing about her or her experiment and all their communications were recorded onto audio. Listening afterwards to the voices and sounds on the audio recordings, certain patterns and phrases began to repeat, and predicted events began to occur in Starr's life. She started to hear sounds within the recordings that she had initially missed, sounds that had fallen in between the gaps of words, as if new voices had actually appeared on the recordings. I am the Medium holds 250 of these sounds on 12" record. Each 'sound' is given one groove (1.8 seconds) and each groove is locked in to its circle and will repeat forever until someone knocks the needle onto another groove. The full range of sounds cannot be heard unless the needle is tapped by the listener. Georgina Starr's interest in psychics was sparked by spiritualist Ronaldo Wright, whose involvement in the spiritual world began with a visitation from 'The Spirit of Light' during a séance in Belgrave Square. He became a man with a mission to channel, write and distribute the message of Hafed, Prince of Persia, leader of the legendary Three Magi of biblical fame.

Located in New Zealand on Auckland's Karangahape Road, Starkwhite presents a programme of artists' projects, solo shows, independently curated exhibitions and occasional forays into new music and other interdisciplinary practices. Starkwhite also represents artists from New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific-rim.

only in german

Tamar Guimaraes, Dane Mitchell, Georgina Starr