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Hotel Polonia

ArtistDaniel Malone
Production Date2007-2010
Mediumwooden stretcher, floor mats, mat beaters, television monitor, DVD player, video (single channel, standard definition, 4:3, colour, stereo sound)
Size3min 42sec
DepartmentNew Zealand Art
Accession Date16 Jun 2010
Accession NoC2010/1/17.1-7
Credit LineChartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2010

Chartwell Notes

Acquisition notes and installation notes: from conversation with Daniel Malone, (DM) March 2010.

The exhibition invitation photograph indicates the source material for the work. DM observed, over a back yard fence, the rug hung over a rug frame in a garden in Poland, during a walk. He photographed it. It is this rug that he then used as the basis to make the oil on linen painting. Since he couldn’t see the other half of the hanging rug from his viewing point over the fence, he designed the other side of the painting himself. This idea of the painting being essentially in two halves, the half he could see and the half he could imagine, is played out in the division of the floor mats – being split in two.

This dualism is carried on with the presentation of the two rug beaters,

The work continues DM’s interest in frames and framing. He is interested particularly in the rug beating frames he has seen since living in Poland and has developed an archive of photographs of these frames.

The work also reflects his long interest in ideas of ground, being grounded, things on the ground – past work share references to bricks for example and rubbings from pavements. This is again a work using the floor rug as its basis.

He was interested in the rug for its obvious references to abstract painting and design and especially to the work of Malevich, who as a Polish born artist, is important to the history of Eastern European art. Malevich exhibited in the 1927 at the Hotel Polonia, hence the reference in the title. A 2007 exhibition was held at the same Hotel to commemorate this earlier show. See for details of this historical connection:

These European abstractionists principally used the 3 primary colours in their works and white and black and DM was interested in the strange colours used in this rug- ochres, browns, yellows etc.

Installation guidelines:

Ideally the painting should be hung in a corner – as a reference to Malevich’s work hung in a corner and the two sided reference in the show.

It is acceptable for the painting to be on the left or right of the video, the space between the two works is not intrinsic to the meaning of the work – it can be adjusted to a wall space.

The two carpet beaters can be installed under the monitor, independently on the wall, between the other two works etc. Open installation requirements but with requirement that at least they are on the same wall as the performance video in which DM uses both beaters.

Sue Gardiner