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  • Jul 28, 2009
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Hadley + Maxwell
The Metal Drummer and the Walldog 
Billboard Project

The Metal Drummer and the Walldog is part of a series of works that focus on broadly expanding ideas of performance. The project is inspired by bulletin boards at music stores and rehearsal studios traditionally used as communication hubs where musicians can post their search for bands and bands for new members. The posts found at these public sites are a nominal portraiture, wherein an ideal band or band member is described in a few lines, some musical references, or – more and more often – a myspace address.

For The Metal Drummer and the Walldog the artists have chosen a recent post by drummer Lexie Miller from a public bulletin site in Saskatoon and re-designed it to fit AKA’s public Billboard where it has been carefully hand-painted by local sign-painter Dave Smith. The process of producing the work lingers on forms of mediation between the individual and the social body. The performance starts with Miller, whose public call to find a metal band is designed to appeal to the aesthetic sensibility of others who will appreciate her musicianship. The call is slowly and deliberately translated to a massive scale by the performance of Smith – a tradesman­, who practices a rare craft that is rapidly being displaced by digital imaging processes. The intention is to draw out the initial call itself by extending the time it takes to perform it and the audience it is exposed to, emphasizing the craft and care of its translation and enunciation. Potential – expressed in any call, billboard or bulletin – both waits in an innate talent and becomes greater as it is performed.

Hadley+Maxwell have been collaborating since they met in Vancouver, Canada, in 1997, working in a variety of media including video, installation, and sound. Stemming from their commitment to collaboration, their work examines mediation as the threshold of intelligibility between the individual and the social. Often appropriating iconic images and traditional forms as they are expressed in pop-cultural, artistic and political movements, they use comparative strategies between diverse media to engage the relation between private life and public appearance.

Hadley+Maxwell’s writing and image-based projects have appeared in publications including the Fillip Review, Art Lies!, Public, C Magazine, Prefix Photo, West Coast Line and F.R. David. They have exhibited their work internationally, including solo exhibitions at Artspeak (Vancouver), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin), Kunstverein Göttingen (Germany), and Smart Project Space (Amsterdam), and group exhibitions at galleries and festivals including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Kunstraum München, the Power Plant (Toronto), the National Gallery of Canada, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse (France) and Witte de With (Rotterdam). They are represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto, and live and work in Berlin, Germany.

Read Dagmara Genda’s response to this work here.

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