In addition to Lye’s films, poems and sculptures, the exhibition Old Genes: Artists reading Len Lye presents the work of five contemporary artists engaging with Lye’s legacy and the role of language in his work. In a new video work in which performers substitute language for sound drawn from the body, Phil Dadson contemplates Lye’s Universe. Tessa Laird copies Lye’s own sketchbook copies of text by Sigmund Freud and works by African, Australian Aboriginal, M?ori and other cultures of the Pacific region. Dane Mitchell reads several of Lye’s poems into blown glass forms as they were being made.
Encasing and materialising words in quite a different way, Andy Thomson and Daniel von Sturmer collaborate on Spin Theory, a mysterious vitrine full of kinetic mechanisms, glowing light and language. With all of these works Old Genes presents a fresh look at the legacy of Len Lye in New Zealand art.