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"Death by Chocolate makes use of the moving image of the video camera in order to document the life and architecture of a Canadian shopping mall near the artist's home over a period of two decades. Almost without expression, and therefore with great humor, it opens a perception of the always dominant, if at the same time also constantly reworked forms that maintain this artificial world. In its everyday normality it also touches on the life of consumption and the leisure activities of its regular customers. From the indoor flora, presumably made from plastic, around a water park in the middle of the mall to the half-naked people sunbathing on the roof of the architectonic construction, Graham invites us to reflect on the reversal of nature and culture within this place. Like the pavilions that he has worked with in past decades, these references draw on a tradition reaching back to baroque and rococo gardens, and which produced those illustrations of arcadia or paradise made by human hands."

Felix Ensslin

Death by Chocolate: West Edmondton Shopping Mall 1986-2005

USA/Canada 2005, video loop, colour, sound, 8 minutes

Together with the video the daadgalerie presents another recent work by Dan Graham, who was a guest of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm/DAAD in 1976. The slide-series New Jersey (2006) parallels the video in its focus on surfaces, décor and reflections.

Dan Graham was born in Urbana in 1942 and now lives and works in New York. His most comprehensive retrospective to date Works 1965-2000 was organised by the Fundação de Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemporãneo, Porto, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. In 2009, the MoCA, Los Angeles and Whitney Museum, New York will co-organise the retrospective entitled Dan Graham: Beyond.

Dan Graham lives and works in New York.

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur