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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Date: Saturday 24 January
* This is the last event in the Between Wind and Water Summer Residency; closing drinks will follow this event.
- 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.
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.
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