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).
He was the joint Open Submission Winner for the 2008 Whitstable Biennale alongside London based artist Oreet Ashery, and the joint Open Submission Winner for the 2013 Emergency arts festival alongside Sheffield based artist Rebecca Bowley.
His extraordinary proposal ‘Beyond the Medium, A Rake’s Dream…’ made the Open 100 proposals for Artangel’s ‘OPEN’ 2013. And now he’s currently researching & developing his first major ‘artist moving image’ cinematic feature funded by the Art Council of England (GfA) titled ‘FOUNTAIN, fountain…’ which is now in pre-production (2015/17).
The Louisa Guinness Gallery selected his work to show alongside Ed Ruscha, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, Greyson Perry and Anish Kapoor at Design Miami, USA, 2013.
Text Festival Co-Curator Philip Davenport commissioned him to create a unique piece for ‘The Dark Would: language art exhibition’, Summerhall, Edinburgh to show alongside Jenny Holzer, Richard Long, Richard Wentworth & Lawrence Wiener.
Chavez-Dawson also judged (alongside Laurie Peake, Paul Stolper and Iain Andrews) and curated the neo:art prize 2013 and Israeli artist Yoav Ruda’ ‘Entrance Through the Emergency Exit’ for neo: 2014.
“Thematically I’m concerned with the orchestration of belief & value systems, notions of authenticity and the historical legacy of art and its function/relevance.
“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, produced a live ‘exquisite corpse’ durational book that was written and performed live across a selection of art venues & libraries via a network of projectors & plasma displays, replicated iconic conceptual artworks as limited edition jewelry, scored & performed concrete poetry between two train stations, synthesized a series of artists residencies into a pop-video-cum-critical essay, produced textiles based on my text-Rorschach performance paintings which have then been upholstered onto period furniture, synthesized various shows/arts festivals into ‘taste-portraits’ via sorbet, and given/devised gallery tours & interventions posing as estate agents, crime-solving detectives, revolutionaries and twins.
“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.
“However, it is the continual habit of cross-referencing seemingly opposing disciplines, narrative structures and interpretative motifs that invigorates both my works and methods. I seem to employ a curatorial dynamic that is critically engaged yet playfully intuitive. This is usually via remixing either the material of the situation I find myself within, or by instigating various socially-engaged works/methods that produce works in their own right, but are utilized as source material too, this ‘kaleidoscopic’ approach seeks to formulate an intelligent dialogue between the modes of its production, the work produced and its potential consumption.
“… a socially-engaged practice should aspire to have a non-evasive & non-hierarchical creative spirit that ignites the imagination for radical possibilities and complicit collaboration.”
Mike Chavez Dawson, Rogue Artists Studios, 2015
He is a PhD research candidate by practice at MMU, MIRIAD, a visiting lecturer at Chester University and has exhibited and performed at Summerhall, BAM, In-Situ, Design Miami, TATE Britain, Barbican, ICA, Cornerhouse, Castlefield Gallery, The Whitworth Art Gallery, and British Art Show 7 at Nottingham Contemporary, The Grundy Art Gallery, Harris Art Gallery & Museum, Carter Presents, UNION, Bearspace and The Whitstable Biennale (2008).
He has also undertaken various international shows and projects in New York, Sans Francisco, Miami, Rome, Lisbon, Lahore, Seoul, Helsinki, Edinburgh and Dresden.