Daily Practice

Daily Practice

Mike Stevenson and Danius Kesminas

16 May - 3 June 2000


Out of an artist's appearance on a public stage and their dalliance and dialogues with media, a character is born, a character who is the mouthpiece for the work, and one who, by behaviour and example, in words and image, helps shape the context for the work.
—Alice Joanou


The artworld is a stage and artists all actors. This view of the art world achieved its most acute form in the media-saturated 1980s and 1990s. Today art competes for attention with other forms of entertainment, yet the exact relation between the artist and his public persona remains out-of-bounds in formal artistic debate. Mike Stevenson and Danius Kesminas address this in Daily Practice, a filmed stageplay adapted from a 1992 interview between Gerhard Richter and critic Doris von Drathen that appears in Richter's collected writings The Daily Practice of Painting. Using Louis Malle's Vanya on 42nd Street as a model (Richter replaces Chekov), the film depicts the play in rehearsal. Australian actors Tom Considine and Heather Bolton develop the interview as a script on the social accountability of painting, reclaiming the nuances of gesture, guise, and character lost in the written text. The video is accompanied by a display of designs for costumes and set, props, scripts, and production documentation.