Damian Moppett’s practice questions notions of mastery. For his exhibition at the CAG, Moppet brought together three distinct crafts: drawing, ceramics and music. He is interested in the idea of learning a craft, but wants to avoid the exterior and traditional criteria with which proficiency or mastery is judged. He spent six months learning how to throw clay pots working up from a simple hollow container to a more complex tea pot. His drawings reference vernacular and illustrative styles. He uses them as a form of documentation of his art practice and as a means to literally represent his cultural influences. He incorporated music into the exhibition through a series of four videos that highlighted all the technical skills needed to set up a rock band. The music becomes secondary to the material need to make music. Within each medium he presents a modest level of skill and attempts to avoid the creation of a spectacle in part by privileging the process over the finished object and by avoiding, to a certain degree, the tropes of each medium.
This publication was produced to coincide with the exhibition Damian Moppett: The Visible Work, curated by Jenifer Papararo, held at the Contemporary Art Gallery, March 18 to April 24, 2005. The publication was designed by Damian Moppett and Timmings & Debay (original design concept based on Nova Scotia Series: Source Materials of the Contemporary Arts, ed. by Benjamin H.D. Buchloch. In particular Carl Andre, Hollis Frampton: 12 Dialogues 1962-1963 (Halifax, NS: The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and New York University Press, 1982). The publication contains essays by Jenifer Papararo, John Welchman and Nathaniel Heisler.MORE