Theo Macdonald

Theo Macdonald is an artist and writer currently based in Tāmaki Makerau. Using performance, autobiography and found footage, his work on CIRCUIT examines the symbiotic relationship between late 20th century American media and individual iconography. In a series of ambiguous home videos from 2015, Macdonald adopts the performative gestures of ‘David Bowie’, dryly deflating the artists' populist avant-theatre with poorly-lit location shoots and a bowl of spaghetti. In Technology: David Bowie (2016), Macdonald returns to the source, collaging a series of Bowie's late night tv appearances to chart the evolution of the artists dramatic personae in public. In Waterfall Confessional (2020) the artist draws on jokes from stand up comedian Jack Handey which, deprived of their laugh track, are alternately dispiriting and sad. Seen from the distance of the late 2010’s, Macdonald’s videos reveal the roots of a contemporary mediascape based on a performance of the self, a utopia brought crashing down to earth in Macdonald’s ‘frequently silly, rhythmic, and ambiguously earnest’ videos.

CIRCUIT Projects

Masons Screen (commission) (2020)

CIRCUIT Resources

Essay by Mark Amery (2021)

Selected Exhibitions

2021
Bravo! Monster Island is a Peninsula, play_station, Wellington
Burning Down the Houses (with Isabella Dampney), MEANWHILE, Wellington

2020
Masons Screen, Wellington
POST-, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin

2019
The Marketplace of Feelings, Corban Estate Arts Centre, Auckland

2018
Stop the World from Spinning (with Isabella Dampney), KNULP, Sydney, Australia
Heart of Glass (with Isabella Dampney) (solo), Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington
Works for Loudspeakers No. 15, Pyramid Club, Wellington

2017
The Tomorrow People, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington
Bella and Theo IDEATE! (with Isabella Dampney) (solo), RM, Auckland

2016
New Perspectives, Artspace, Auckland
Is it the Beginning of a New Age?, The Engine Room, Wellington
I Think We Should Put Some Mountains Here (with Isabella Dampney), Rockies, Auckland
Avoiding Climax: Bella and Theo Understand it Better but the Frog Dies (with Isabella Dampney), Window Gallery, Auckland

2015
Group Shower, Fuzzy Vibes, Auckland