By Will Fredo
Berlin-based artist and writer Will Fredo discusses the decolonial gestures at play in Aotearoa-based art collective FAFSWAG’s contributions to documenta fifteen, encompassing works that champion unapologetic self-expression, queer joy and the power of futurity in rejecting colonial inheritances.
By Imaad Majeed
Artist, curator and writer Imaad Majeed talks with Aotearoa artist Areez Katki about his participation in Language is Migrant, the latest edition of the international arts festival Colomboscope, in Sri Lanka, and about using embroidery and textiles to explore ideas of displacement, trajectories of violence, and the colonial legacy of his own Parsi heritage.
By Bruce E. Phillips
For documenta fifteen, the arts collective FAFSWAG were invited to participate as members of the lumbung process established by this year’s curatorial collective ruangrupa. In the absence of the trophy artist phenomenon so entrenched within mega-exhibitions, Bruce E. Phillips responds to the work of different participating collectives exhibiting in Kassel and discusses how introducing a non-European exhibition-making concept into the heart of arguably Europe’s most revered art event was bound to confound those unwilling to consider a differing perspective.
By Andrew Berardini
Andrew Berardini visits Fiona Connor’s solo exhibition at Château Shatto in LA, where the artist’s carefully rendered replicas of the doors of closed down clubs conjure up memories of forgotten youth.
By Clémentine Deliss
Writer and curator Clémentine Deliss reviews Aotearoa artist Ruth Buchanan’s solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland, an artwork as exhibition that reconfigures collecting history, curatorial practices and institutional norms.
By Susanne Prinz
On the occasion of Gill Gatfield’s first solo exhibition in Berlin, Susanne Prinz, Director of Kunstverein am Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz in Berlin, Germany, reflects on the practice of the Aotearoa artist—from her use of ancient, salvaged materials to her work creating an audience-activated virtual reality experience, and the complex resonances of memory, reality and consciousness in her work.
By Dan Munn
Aotearoa artist and curator Betty Collings acted as Director of the Ohio State University’s Gallery of Fine Art from 1974 to 1980, amassing during that time a significant collection of then-contemporary artworks. With many of these works showcased at the recent exhibition To Begin, Again: A Prehistory of the Wex, 1968-89, Dan Munn looks back to Collings’ influence as a Director and her own, long-running artistic career.
By Johanna Bear
Featuring work from Aotearoa artists Edith Amituanai, Brian Fuata, Christina Pataialii, Shannon Novak and Shannon Te Ao as well as collaborators from Aotearoa in the project Kā Paroro o Haumumu: Coastal Flows / Coastal Incursions, this piece from writer and curator Johanna Bear considers the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial’s celebration of Indigenous futures, collaborative and community-based practices, and new ways of understanding the world around us.
By Franchesca Hebert-Spence
Featuring Aotearoa artists Israel Birch, Nikau Hindin, Jeremy Leatinu’u, Nova Paul, Rachel Rakena and Keri Whaitiri, the inaugural Indigenous Triennial at the Winnipeg Art Gallery/Qaumajuq (WAG/Q) in Winnipeg, Naadohbii: To Draw Water, presents a collaborative curatorial approach to Indigenous artists’ work—Franchesca Hebert-Spence visits the exhibition and talks to the curators about the curatorial process, the opportunities offered through cross-cultural exchange, and the adherence to the specificities of place and history fostered through the exhibition.
By Megan Macnaughton
A new series of works by LA-based Aotearoa painter Emma McIntyre form the artist’s first solo exhibition in Europe, Up bubbles her amorous breath—a feminised reimagining of mythological landscapes and our relationship to them. Writer Megan Macnaughton visits the exhibition and talks with McIntyre about her developing process of painting, using her whole body, to create vividly imagined abstract works.
By Clare Gemima
Aotearoa artist Christina Pataialii features in the fifth New Museum Triennial, one of the world’s leading exhibitions for emerging artists. New York-based writer Clare Gemima visits the exhibition and reflects on Pataialii’s rule-breaking approach to painting technique, and the artist’s search for a language for her family history, identity and the cultural “in-between”.
By Connie Brown
Writer Connie Brown pays a visit to Virginia Leonard’s studio, encountering the artist’s “fugly” ceramics and talking with her about recent and upcoming international exhibitions, her process into ceramic-making and the resistance her work offers to traditional notions of wellness, pain and the body.
By Laura Castagnini
Following her death in 2018, pioneering feminist artist Vivian Lynn is receiving unprecedented international attention, after a lifetime of exhibiting widely in Aotearoa, but never outside of New Zealand. Following her recent inclusion in the 13th Gwangju Biennale and a solo exhibition at Southard Reid, London, Laura Castagnini reflects on the long-overdue revival of feminist art practices from the 1980s, and considers the striking parallels between Lynn’s work and her London-based counterpart, Liliane Lijn.
By Habib William Kherbek
Michael Stevenson’s retrospective at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, traces a 35 year practice exploring the intricacies of storytelling and truth in popular culture, media and technology. In this piece, Habib William Kherbek explores how Stevenson’s practice calls into question the infrastructures of knowledge formation in a sprawling, fragmented exhibition from inside the belly of a whale.
By Frances Loeffler
In the 2021 documentary Revolt She Said, filmmaker Louise Lever traces the histories and critical concerns of feminist movements in Aotearoa. Frances Loeffler reflects on the complex questions raised by the film and the impact of recent feminist movements in the art world.
By Alice Bonnot
Porto-based New Zealand artist Yota Ayaan investigates the possibilities of human-plant communication in Plant Data, an exhibition at the Galeria da Biodiversidade, Centro Ciência Viva, in Porto’s Botanical garden. After visiting the show, writer and curator Alice Bonnot discusses here the urgent lessons that can be gleaned from it in the current climate crisis.
By Esther Lu
Aotearoa-based artist Sorawit Songsataya’s practice explores the many tangents that connect and redefine our understandings of subjectivity and ecology. Songsataya was invited to participate in the group show, The Turn of the Fifth Age, at Selasar Sunaryo Art Space in Bandung, Indonesia, earlier this year, where they exhibited their work Jupiter. Here, co-curator Esther Lu responds to that work.
By Michelangelo Corsaro
In their work for the 13th Gwangju Biennale, the Bad Fiji Gyals call attention to the legacy of Girmitiya women, indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent recruited by British colonial authorities to work on Fiji’s sugarcane plantations. Associate Curator Michelangelo Corsaro writes about the collaborative work of Aotearoa-based artist Quishile Charan and US-based artist Esha Pillay.
By Katie White
Inspired by ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement, Ann Shelton's photographs subtly recall both ancient and contemporary female archetypes and the subversive histories of natural medicine - a sharp reminder of our forgotten affinities with nature in the current moment of climate crisis and the ongoing politicisation of female bodies.
By Catherine Dale
Based in Japan for the past ten years, Joel Kirkham founded Goya Curtain in Tokyo with fellow artist Bjorn Houtman in 2016, and has since been running the gallery. Together with Catherine Dale, he discusses the project space, the exhibitions it has hosted since opening, including Anoushka Akel's recent show (RED LEGS) HOT HEAD, and the future direction for Goya Curtain.
By Maya Wilson-Sanchez
Presented earlier this year at Oakville Galleries in Canada, Shannon Te Ao's two-channel video and sound installation Ka mua, ka muri recently opened at Remai Modern, Saskatoon. In this part essay, part dialogue, writer Maya Wilson-Sanchez examines Te Ao's new project, and meditates on the relationships between indigenous populations in colonised nations.
By Ron Hanson
Although an influential figure in the development of sound art, New York-based Annea Lockwood hasn't experienced the same level of exposure in New Zealand as she has experienced internationally. In this piece, White Fungus' editor Ron Hanson outlines his journey discovering Lockwood's work and speaks to the artist about her impressive career and pivotal developments in her field.
By Jessica Palalagi
Jessica Palalagi, co-founder of the In*ter*is*land Collective, describes how their physical base in London, MOKU Pacific HQ, London, has served as a place for tagata Moana in the UK to create and meet since its inception in 2018, and reflects on the highs and lows of the past three years, including their exhibition in late 2019, Mana Moana, Mana Wahine.
By Jon Bywater
The 22nd Biennale of Sydney opened on 14 March 2020 and unfortunately had to close its doors only nine days later due to Covid-19. Prior to its closing, writer Jon Bywater managed to visit NIRIN, looking in particular at participating artists from Aotearoa including Emily Karaka, Elisapeta Heta & John Miller, Lisa Reihana, Kulimoe’anga ‘Stone’ Maka, and FAFSWAG.
By Sharmini Aphrodite
In the first essay in our new series focusing on New Zealand arts activity in the Asia region, writer Sharmini Aphrodite reviews André Hemer's show, Images Cast by the Sun, at Yavuz Gallery in Singapore in 2019. Finding parallels between the paintings location in Singapore and their creation in Vienna, Aphrodite articulates their visceral qualities, and ability to transcend materiality.
By Kathryn Weir, Zhang Hanlu
Held at Centre Pompidou in Paris, France, the most recent iteration of the ongoing project Cosmopolis included Aotearoa artists Lisa Reihana and Nandita Kumar amongst 40 international artists, all exploring technology and alternative ontologies. Chief curator, Kathryn Weir, and associated curator Zhang Hanlu share their reflections on Cosmopolis #2: rethinking the human.
By Stefanie Bräuer
Art Historian Stefanie Bräuer takes us through Museum Tinguely’s recent comprehensive exhibition of New Zealand artist Len Lye, exploring Lye’s international life, his move from film to kinetic sculptures and the relationship between the museum's namesake, fellow kinetic sculptor Jean Tinguely.
By Roseanne Bartley
A look at Handshake, a project dedicated to developing emerging New Zealand jewellers nationally and internationally, and their recent exchange with Coda Museum in the Netherlands. Participating jewellers from Aotearoa include Neke Moa, Vivien Atkinson, Sarah Read, Becky Bliss, Vanessa Arthur, Sarah Walker-Holt, Sandra Schmid, Nadene Carr, Caroline Thomas, Brendon Monson, Nik Hanton, and Kelly McDonald.
By Jari Niesner
In her recent exhibition Following the Rubber Trails, at Frappant Galerie in Hamburg, Germany, Xin Cheng addresses the politics, history and philosophy of rubber, in its varying forms. Writer Jari Nieser explores the artist's performance, film and installation.
By Tessa Laird
From Morris dancing to costume making, Berlin-based artist Matthew Cowan and arts writer Tessa Laird discuss Cowan's interest in folklore, the function of tradition in the modern world and the influence of surrealism on his practice. Cowan's exhibition The Scream of the Strawbear opens at Kunsthalle Giessen in Germany on 7 September 2019.