Mike Chavez-Dawson is an artist-curator based at Rogue Artists’ Studios, Manchester, UK. He instigated and curated the critically acclaimed shows ‘Unrealised Potential’ and David Shrigley’s solo show entitled ‘HOW ARE YOU FEELING?’ for the Cornerhouse (2012–13).
More recently his extraordinary proposal ‘Beyond the Medium, A Rake’s Dream…’ made the 100 favorite proposals for Artangel ‘OPEN’ 2013.
He also judged (alongside Laurie Peake, Paul Stolper and Iain Andrews) and curated the neo:art prize 2013.
“To date I have ran a gallery in a publication, utilized alter egos as living portraits, interviewed deceased artists and cultural figures through spiritual mediums, created a cinema using hypnotism, represented artists’ unrealized ideas as contractual certificates and given gallery tours posing as estate agents, crime-solving detectives and revolutionaries.
“My art practice is interdisciplinary and research-led, framed by an exploration into revealing the myth of the artist’s vision as against the audience’s reading. I tend to present ‘propositional works’ that retain a healthy skepticism for participation and interpretation; this is usually through multi-part works that sit between performance [-art] and curation.
“Yet the multitude of art ecologies (galleries, museums, institutes, project spaces, artist-led initiatives both commercial and non-commercial, etc.) and their agency in valuing such cultural pursuits as [being] custodians for ‘beautiful’ modes of articulation, and questioning and testing through a plethora of media, mediums and methods are at the heart of my collaborative endeavors.
“However, it is the continual habit of cross-referencing seemingly opposing disciplines, narrative structures and interpretative motifs that invigorates both my works and methods — this often retains a critical opening for a non-didactic ‘creative frequency’ which renders ideological conditioning transparent. This frequency seeks to question the interplay between where an artwork begins and where it ends or, more succinctly, where its legacy and parameters are located.
“Continuing the legacy of going beyond the familiar outputs of digital, video, installation and performance, my choices of materials and media for sculptural and 2D-based works include reclaimed office furniture, closed-down libraries’ desks and shelving, point-of-sale ephemera, market pallets, signage (posters, flyers, vinyl), household paint, craft card, children's poster paints, glass-leading applicators, marine ply, MDF, neon acrylic and laser etching. These materials are often imbued with various modes of commerce, knowledge exchange & storage, DIY and early creative craft (where even the latest technology such as laser etching harks back to a traditional sense of craftsmanship).
“Text, language and wordplay, along with their visual presence and creative resonance, are undoubtedly at the forefront of my output in terms of a tangible continuity, whether explicit (text painting, posters, vinyl) or implicit (scripted dialogue, interpretation material, oral disclosure).
“It is important to note that while I’m serious about my artistic endeavors I don’t take myself seriously — humour is the great equalizer.” MCD, 2013
He is a PhD research fellow at MMU, MIRIAD, and has exhibited and performed at TATE Britain, Barbican, ICA, Cornerhouse, The Whitworth Art Gallery, British Art Show 7 at Nottingham Contemporary and The Whitstable Biennale (2008). He has also had numerous international shows and projects in Rome, New York, Sans Francisco, Lisbon, Seoul, Helsinki and Dresden.