Post hoc, Venice Biennale 2019
Aotearoa New Zealand National Pavilion
Post hoc 2019
Tapered anechoic chamber, powered monitor speaker, microphone, modem, two Raspberry Pi, two hard drives, three fans, electrical cabling, emptied library, printer, paper, laptop computer, powder-coated mild steel and seven cell tower pine trees, each comprising: galvanised steel, mild steel, aluminium, plastic, two Raspberry Pi, two hard drives, speaker, acoustic insulation, range booster, electrical components, electrical cabling.
At the heart of Dane Mitchell’s Post hoc, are 260 meticulously researched lists of countless phenomena that existed, but are now no more.
From the New Zealand Pavilion, Post hoc broadcasted a mournful archive numbering in the millions across the city, via seven, six-metre tall cell-phone tree towers installed in public sites around Venice. The source of the automated voice was an echo-free chamber installed in the Palazzina Canonica, the former headquarters of exhibition partner Istituto di Scienze Marine (CNR-ISMAR).
These extinct, disappeared, obsolete, withdrawn and absent things were transmitted continuously throughout the duration of the Biennale. To be heard in their entirety required hearing 15,000 words a day, over 176 days, 8 hours a day.
Simultaneously, the lists could also be listened to at trees in four public sites: Università Iuav di Venezia, The Architecture School; Ospedale Civile di Venezia, The Hospital; Sant’Elena, Parco Rimembranze; and the North Arsenale, Internal Garden. At any of the tree towers, a list could be selected and streamed on a handheld device when within the field of each tree’s wifi network.
Coinciding with the audible component, the immaterial lists found tangible form in the Palazzina’s emptied library, where lines of text printed on rolls of paper in sync with the transmissions, slowly filling the space over the six-month duration of the Biennale.
A Latin phrase, ‘Post hoc’ translates as ‘after this’. It describes the assumption that an occurrence has a logical relationship with the event it follows. In Mitchell’s presentation, Post hoc evoked the question of the connections between events and vanished ‘past things’, without necessarily calling up judgement.
Post hoc was generously supported by Creative New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa, Leigh Melville and the New Zealand at Venice Patrons, Anthony Simpson, New Zealand Ambassador to Italy and the New Zealand Embassy in Rome, exhibition partner Institute of Marine Sciences of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-ISMAR), Akin, Man o’ war, and Hopkinson Mossman.
Zara Stanhope's accompanying text here
Chris Sharp's accompanying text here
Heman Chong's accompanying text here
Stephen Turner's accompanying text here