Posts tagged ‘Between Wind and Water’

Epeli Hau’ofa is still

alive and he’s healthy

without anything

afflicting his front

or his rear


His Oceanic imaginary

has expanded beyond

even his own expectations

and he would have invited

Between Wind & Water

to be exhibited at his Centre

and given you all a residency

so that the over one hundred

students enrolled in Jacki Leota’s

UU204 course this summer

could hear you all speak and

be provoked to ask you questions

and ask themselves questions

about what their ideal Pacific

looks like


(This is very important

because the majority of those

students are Indo-Fijian and

will be thinking about themselves

as Pacific for the first time

in their lives

and the majority of them

are studying business and

accounting and will be thinking

about how to make the Pacific

and the world a better place

for everyone

instead of just for themselves)


In my ideal Pacific

this exhibition and residency

would have been held in March

when our VUW students are back

and I could have encouraged

my PASI 101 students to focus

one of their assignments on it


But in my ideal Pacific

my Pacific Studies students

would be more like the

PNG Studies and Business Studies

students and graduates

I met at Divine Word University

In Madang, Papua New Guinea

last year

who get their degrees

not so they can get jobs

in air-conditioned offices

and drive air-conditioned cars

but so that they can walk barefoot

from village to village

finding out what people’s needs are

and helping them find alternatives

to mining, deforestation

and commercial over-fishing

in their region


In my ideal Pacific

Business Studies students

go on to do masters degrees in

Public Health like

the late Darlene Keju

from the Marshall Islands

and realize the crucial importance

of the art in empowering

young Pacific people to

have positive attitudes

towards their bodies

and their sexuality

and their environment

so they would be able to

live off their land

and the sea around them

and could participate in

the wider world’s economics

on their own terms


In my ideal Pacific

my ancestral island of Banaba

or Ocean Island in the central

Pacific would not have been

mined into a moonscape oblivion

by the British Phosphate Company


But if that never happened

New Zealand would not have

become quite such the land

of milk and honey that it did

and we all probably wouldn’t

be sitting here today

because I’d be surprised

if our sitting here today

was ever part of the dreaming

of the tangata whenua

who lived here prior to

the arrival of The Tory in 1839

or the iwi who even

preceded them


In my ideal Pacific

things wouldn’t be

perfect

but everyone would learn

deeply from their mistakes

like the sharks that WWF

has tracked diving to depths

of 1000 metres or more

on their journeys

around the Pacific


This text was included in the Between Wind and Water Summer Residency (2015) publication. It was Teresia Teaiwa’s contribution to the BWAW Futures Forum on Saturday 24 January, 2015.

Posted today, on the day we lost Teresia, because her words are gifts and my heart is heavy.

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Drawing activity for "MALE: Maori or Polynesian" by Leilani KakeThe Between Wind and Water publication documents the Enjoy Public Art Gallery Summer Residency undertaken in January 2015 by Tanu Gago, Leilani Kake, Ema Tavola and Luisa Tora. It has been designed by Meredith Crowe and features written and drawn contributions by Tanu Gago, Leilani Kake, Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann, Jessica Hansell, Kaliopate Tavola, Teresia Teaiwa, Luisa Tora and Faith Wilson.

Being between wind and water is to be precarious, vulnerable.

Making, presenting and discussing Pacific art and Pacific audiences in Aotearoa is a political, problematic and divisive process. Our small community is fragmented and diasporically disjointed. In a dominant cultural environment, Celebration By Default Syndrome too often squashes criticality particularly in the context of a top-heavy funding paradigm. In Aotearoa, assertion of identity is an act embedded in systems of power, privilege and oppression; Pacific people and Pacific art will never be ‘post-identity’.

The Between Wind and Water exhibition and residency was planned to literally and conceptually align with Wellington’s annual Pasifika Festival. The project centralises Pacific art, people and ways of seeing. A grant received from Creative New Zealand enabled the artists to develop new and experimental work for the exhibition, and the Summer Residency at Enjoy Public Art Gallery allowed us to present it, discuss it and bring people together to reflect and honour Pacific lives and experience in Aotearoa.

The artworks define their community, their intangible context of relational accountability. They represent the people and spaces the artists’ draw from, and are sustained by. They cut close to the heart for some, and reveal attitudes towards Otherness, privilege, colonisation and its residue on our everyday lives. Over two weeks, the Gallery became a forum for conversations about the Ocean, race and belonging, merging communities and the flawed ideal of the Super City. We broke bread with new friends, shared tears for West Papua, and got inspired by some of New Zealand’s most conscious Pacific thinkers, culture shapers and trailblazers.

This publication is a record of our residency, an epic collective undertaking. It represents the spaces around and between Pacific art and audience, capturing moments of love, respect and consciousness for Oceania.

Ema Tavola
Curator

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Front Cover

Things have been quiet on the blog front since Between Wind and Water, a residency and exhibition that took place in January at Enjoy Public Art Gallery in Wellington. This beautiful publication is in development and documents the whole thing with photos, papers, extended artist statements and drawings – the first print run is headed to the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival Symposium in Melbourne next month where I’ll be delivering a keynote presentation entitled, Curating Pacific Spaces: Oceania and the White Cube.

[Front cover: Installation view, Naqalotu: Na qalo tu (2015) by Luisa Tora]

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Tanu Gago’s new work for Between Wind and Water is a follow-up from his 2010 three-channel video installation, YOU LOVE MY FRESH, a work developed for the Manukau Festival of Arts first shown at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga, East Auckland.

Since 2011, Tanu has worked predominantly in photography but his kaupapa has always been to acknowledge, represent and celebrate the unique positions and shared experience of his communities in South Auckland. Making photographs that reclaim the gaze, his work and the projects that have emanated from his practice, give voice, presence and mana to people, places and spaces that are generally otherwise unrepresented in New Zealand mainstream media and art history.

Five years on, The Sound of the Ocean is the sequel to YOU LOVE MY FRESH. An uncomfortable historical reminder of embedded colonialism and media power, stereotypes and expectations that still linger in coded interactions with critics and academics, curators and haters.

Concerned with authorship and representation, past and present, this work remixes found footage from the Internet with Google imagery of Pacific peoples history in New Zealand. The Idea is to re-author the past decade of Pacific media representation, using my own Pacific lens and perspective to tell my own story.

This is the informal Pacific history according to me.

Here’s a taste:

The full three part video work has been created for Between Wind and Water; Tanu will discuss his work and ideas at an Artist Talk on Thursday 22 January at Enjoy Public Art Gallery – all welcome!

When

Artist Talk: Tanu Gago
5.30pm, Thursday 22 January

The residency of Between Wind and Water artists will take place from 10-24 January 2015; the exhibition will be on show until 31 January.

Where

Enjoy Public Art Gallery is located on the First Floor, 147 Cuba Street, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

 Between Wind and Water has been produced with support from

BWAW sponsors1

 

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This is us! On Saturday 17 January from 12 – 6pm, the artists from the upcoming Between Wind and Water exhibition and residency will be at Wellington’s Positively Pasifika Festival at Waitangi Park!

Come down and meet the crew and pick up a copy of SOUTH publication featuring artist profiles, reviews, photo essays and page works by South Auckland’s finest Maori and Pacific artists. Limited edition PIMPI fans will be on sale, as well as Oceania Interrupted T-shirts… and keep an eye out for Oceania Interrupted who’ll be on a mission to raise awareness for West Papua in the capital!

The exhibition of new works by Tanu Gago, Leilani Kake and Luisa Tora opens at Enjoy Public Art Gallery on Saturday 10 January; the first event of the residency is on Wednesday 14 January – Pacific vs Art: A discussion on Curating Pacific Art all welcome!

 Between Wind and Water has been produced with support from

BWAW sponsors1

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Luisa Tora has been busy finishing her Bachelor of Creative Arts at Manukau Institute of Technology in South Auckland. But in the past 18 months she has also shown at St Paul St Gallery, Fresh Gallery Otara and OTARAwindow (which was also featured in the NZ Herald here), at Nathan Homestead, in a pop-up exhibition for the Auckland Pride Festival at Pitt Street Methodist Church, in a poster exhibition for IDAHOT, undertaken an internship with Auckland Museum AND had her work purchased for the Te Papa Tongarewa permanent collection!

Whilst developing on a new work for Between Wind and Water, Luisa slipped in another exhibition: The Drowned World curated by Daniel Michael Satele for Tautai Trust. As part of her enquiry into her village’s origin story and totemic relationship with the shark, Luisa worked with Fijian artist, Joana Monolagi, to create a salusalu [garland; lei] from laser cut Perspex. Read more here.

For Between Wind and Water, Luisa has developed a new and experimental installation entitled, Naqalotu: Na qalo tu.

‘Na qalo tu’ celebrates the central role of vasu and the ocean in my life. It profiles the strong, beautiful females who sustain, influence and inspire me. This offering merges the narratives of my village, Naqalotu’s origin story; our ika, the shark; and my vasu support system.

Luisa will discuss her work as part of a special panel discussion on Wednesday 21 January at Enjoy Public Art Gallery. Guest speakers Kaliopate Tavola (Fiji) and Milena Palka (WWF New Zealand), will speak to the wider themes of Fijian identity and totemic relationships, and the protection and state of shark populations in the Pacific.

When

Naqalotu: Na qalo tu – A panel discussion on new work by Luisa Tora
5.30pm, Wednesday 21 January

The residency of Between Wind and Water artists will take place from 10-24 January; the exhibition will be on show until 31 January.

Where

Enjoy Public Art Gallery is located on the First Floor, 147 Cuba Street, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

 Between Wind and Water has been produced with support from

BWAW sponsors1

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Leilani Kake has become known for powerful video installations that document family, ritual, cultural transmission and taboo. For Between Wind and Water, the upcoming exhibition and summer residency at Wellington’s Enjoy Public Art Gallery, she presents a new and exploratory work entitled, MALE – Māori or Polynesian .

Employing lenticular printing as a new and experimental medium, the work begins to unpack her recent research into narratives of cultural identity and incarceration,stereotypes of criminality and the dichotomies of criminal/victim, brother/other.

This work stems from personal discussions and reflections of friends and family who are currently going through or have recently been through the New Zealand judicial system. I’m interested in how the over-representation of Māori and Polynesian men in New Zealand prisons affects the way our wider communities are represented visually in New Zealand society.

In a specially developed participatory component of the work, Leilani has created suspect flip books inviting audiences of all ages to create and hand-draw their own suspects! The drawings will be added to the exhibition and displayed until 31 January.

Leilani Kake will discuss her new work, research and contexts at an Artist Talk on Thursday 15 January – all welcome!

When

Artist Talk: Leilani Kake
5.30pm, Thursday 15 January

The residency of Between Wind and Water artists will take place from 10-24 January 2015; the exhibition will be on show until 31 January.

Where

Enjoy Public Art Gallery is located on the First Floor, 147 Cuba Street, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

 Between Wind and Water has been produced with support from

BWAW sponsors1

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BWAW promo graphic v11

I’m excited to be producing my first arts project in Wellington next year! Entitled Between Wind and Water, the project includes an exhibition of new work by Tanu Gago, Leilani Kake and Luisa Tora, and a series of six events at Enjoy Public Art Gallery, where we’ll be collectively undertaking a two week residency from 10-24 January 2015.

Between Wind and Water is timed to coincide with the annual Positively Pasifika Festival in an effort to leverage off Wellington City Council’s civic celebration of Pacific cultures and communities. The project aims to attract and engage new Pacific audiences and symbolically centralise Pacific perspectives on contemporary art, interpretation and value.

An exhibition of new works by three South Auckland based artists provides the context for a series of talks, gatherings and activities offering audiences opportunities to discuss the artworks, themes, and wider context of making [and curating] art of and about Pacific experience in Aotearoa New Zealand.

BWAW Artists1

New media artist Tanu Gago has attracted significant attention for his staged photographs that reframe masculinity, sexual identity and cultural privilege. His video works are digital landscapes of new Polynesian pop culture, ‘ghetto narratives’ from 21st century South Auckland. Leilani Kake’s powerful video installations document family, ritual, cultural transmission and taboo. In a new and exploratory work, MALE – Māori or Polynesian, she begins to unpack stereotypes of criminality and the dichotomies of criminal/victim, brother/other. In Luisa Tora’s multidisciplinary practice, she employs visual codes and cultural references to interrogate historical and embedded power dynamics, value and values. Her installation, Naqalotu: Na qalo tu is informed by the origin story from her village in Kadavu (Fiji), symbolic relationships between people, histories, land and sea.

When one is between wind and water, they are said to be in a precarious or vulnerable position. Twenty years after Jim Vivieaere’s seminal show, Bottled Ocean, this exhibition project aims to stir the murky waters of contemporary Pacific art politics broaching issues of labels, positioning and expectations, diversity quotas, criticism and growth for Pacific art and artists in a post-identity era.

Public Programme Events

Pacific vs Art: A Discussion on Curating Pacific Art
Join writer-curators Ioana Gordon-Smith, Daniel Michal Satele and Between Wind and Water curator, Ema Tavola, in a spirited discussion facilitated by Sean Mallon, on Pacific art and the politics of engagement.
Time: 5.30pm
Date: Wednesday 14 January

Artist Talk: Leilani Kake
Exhibiting artist, Leilani Kake discusses the themes and inspiration for her new work, MALE – Māori or Polynesian, within the wider context of her video installation practice.
Time: 5.30pm
Date: Thursday 15 January

Oceania Interrupted: Empowering Collective Action – Meet & Greet
Meet members of Auckland-based collective, Oceania Interrupted, visiting Wellington to undertake the 8th of 15 Actions to raise awareness for West Papua.
Time: 5.30pm
Date: Friday 16 January

Naqalotu: Na qalo tu – A panel discussion on new work by Luisa Tora
Exhibiting artist, Luisa Tora will discuss her new work and themes along with guest speakers, Kaliopate Tavola (Kaidravuni.wordpress.com) on Fijian identity and totemic relationships, and Milena Palka (Marine Species Advocate, WWF) on shark populations and protection in the Pacific.
Time: 5.30pm
Date: Wednesday 21 January

Artist Talk: Tanu Gago
Exhibiting artist, Tanu Gago discuss the themes and inspiration for his new exploratory video work, The Sound of the Ocean.
Time: 5.30pm
Date: Thursday 22 January

BWAW Futures Forum
What does an ideal future look like for Pacific people in Aotearoa and Oceania? A series of quick-fire utopian dream talks from diverse Pacific perspectives, including Dr Teresia Teaiwa, Fuimaono Karl Pulotu-Endemann, Faith Wilson and more!
Time: 2pm
Date: Saturday 24 January
* This is the last event in the Between Wind and Water Summer Residency; closing drinks will follow this event.

Get involved

  • Draw a Suspect!
    Based on Leilani Kake’s new work, MALE – Māori or Polynesian, visitors are invited to create a hand-drawn suspect drawing from some interesting and familiar faces!
  • Between Wind and Water Publication
    Content for an exhibition publication will be generated throughout the residency; observations, photos, drawings and commentary from visitors will feature alongside extracts from dialogue events and extended artist statements. Meet and chat with the artists in the Gallery on most days between 10-24 January.

Dates

The residency of Between Wind and Water artists will take place from 10-24 January 2015; the exhibition will be on show until 31 January.

Venue

Enjoy Public Art Gallery is located on the First Floor, 147 Cuba Street, Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand.

 Between Wind and Water has been produced with support from

BWAW sponsors1

 

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