Essays

Writing

Vivian Lynn / Liliane Lijn

By Laura Castagnini

07.10.2021

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. 

Writing

They Call Me The Believer

By Habib William Kherbek

21.09.2021

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. 

Writing

Talk, Protest, Revolt

By Frances Loeffler

06.08.2021

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. 

Writing

Plant Data

By Alice Bonnot

22.07.2021

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.

Writing

Charting the Constellations of the Oceans, Rivers, and Islands

By Julie Nagam

09.07.2021

As the inaugural Artistic Director for Nuit Blanche Toronto (2020 and 2022), Dr Julie Nagam is interested in forging new relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, in Turtle Island (North America) and internationally, and in the use of digital and new media to express shared experiences of colonialism. Here, Nagam introduces several recent projects undertaken in collaboration with artists and curators from Aotearoa and the new global partnership The Space Between Us, emerging from these cross-cultural exchanges.

Writing

Some Kind of Travelogue

By Esther Lu

18.06.2021

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.

Writing

A protest and a mourning ritual

By Michelangelo Corsaro

11.05.2021

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.

Writing

Ann Shelton’s Strange Flowers Set the Stage

By Katie White

14.04.2021

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.

Writing

Living Currency

By Henry Babbage

25.03.2021

In (working title) at gr_und project space in Berlin, Frankfurt-based New Zealand artist Alex Chalmers explores how the circulation of commodities shape our thresholds of political implication, drawing our attention to the global economy's reliance on an interdependent network of shipping and delivery services, and our own alienation as consumers from the labour that creates our goods. 

Writing

Movements of Outsiders

By Alexa Wilson

10.02.2021

Together with three of her contemporaries, interdisciplinary artist Alexa Wilson considers dance and performance art in the time of Covid - how does a medium that relies so much on physical presence, collaboration, audience and space respond to global lockdowns and a forced shift online?

Writing

Music from the End of the World

By Sharmini Aphrodite

28.01.2021

In September 2019, Joseph Michael's installation Voices for the Future lit up the United Nations, General Assembly and Secretariat buildings in New York ahead of the UN’s Climate Action Summit and global school strikes. Sharmini Aphrodite talks to the artist about his process of recording the icebergs featured in the artwork and reflects on the dissolution of the spatial and aural boundaries between Antarctica, New Zealand and New York.

Writing

Looking for Home

By Jungah Lee

13.01.2021

A look at Yona Lee's site-specific work En Route Home at the 2020 Busan Biennale, its references to migration, the concept of 'home', and our new and developing relationships towards stability and roots in the era of globalisation.

Writing

Listening Like Breathing

By Ron Hanson

09.12.2020

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.

Writing

Social Imagination

By Lance Pearce

20.11.2020

Xin Cheng's Seeing Like a Forest, made during her study at HFBK - University Of Fine Arts Hamburg from 2017-2019, focuses on issues such as sustainability, communities, and resourcefulness. Artist and writer Lance Pearce discusses these themes and their relevance to a world in the midst of a pandemic.

Writing

Forever Fresh

By Jessica Palalagi

06.11.2020

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.

 

Writing

An interview with Joel Kirkham

By Catherine Dale

22.10.2020

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.

Writing

Everything Stops for the Baby

By Chloe Lane, Peter Gouge

23.09.2020

In this correspondence, writer Chloe Lane and artist Peter Gouge discuss the origins of Gouge’s MFA final exhibition at the University of Florida, the functionality of objects, the intersection of parenthood and practice, and the upcoming exhibition at Melanie Roger Gallery in Auckland where the documentation of Gouge's project will be displayed.

Writing

Time and Water

By Maya Wilson-Sanchez

03.09.2020

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.

Writing

Odysseus escapes the cyclops

By Zoe Crook

10.06.2020

A review of Invisible: a collaborative exhibition between the Detroit Cranbrook Academy of Art, Wellington’s Massey University and the Wrocław Academy of Art and Design. Held at BWA Gallery in Wrocław, Poland, in February 2020, the second iteration of Invisible includes New Zealand artists Kerry Ann-Lee, Simon Eastwood and Lisa Munnelly, Lee Jensen, Angela Kilford, and Jason O’Hara.

Writing

The Near Side

By Jon Bywater

13.05.2020

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.

Writing

Resistance through Koloa

By Ysabelle Cheung

06.04.2020

The second publication from our special series focusing on the Asia region, looks to Hong Kong gallery Para Site, and its exhibition Koloa: Women, Art, and Technology. The exhibition centres on koloa, or customary women’s arts in Tonga, and features three artists from New Zealand: Tanya Edwards, Nikau Hindin, and Vaimaila Urale.

Writing

Between Light and Memory

By Sharmini Aphrodite

23.03.2020

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.

Writing

Situated practices

By Kathryn Weir, Zhang Hanlu

07.03.2020

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.

Writing

Stirring Motion

By Stefanie Bräuer

20.02.2020

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.

Writing

Handshake 5: In Dialogue

By Roseanne Bartley

22.01.2020

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.

Writing

Moana, Unimagined

By Millie Riddell

08.01.2020

The 16th Istanbul Biennial, titled The Seventh Continent, had a thematic focus on the large garbage patch currently occupying 3.4 million square kilometres of ocean, near Hawaii and Japan. Despite focusing on this area, Pacific artists were not present at the Biennial. Writer Millie Riddell explores the omission of Pacific artists, and what it means to not address or include the people most affected by environmental pollution and climate change.

Writing

What's for - Decolonial - Dinner?

By Tania Willard

18.12.2019

Co-curated by Lana Lopesi, the exhibition Transits and Returns at Vancouver Art Gallery in Canada presents the work of 21 Indigenous artists from Northern America and the Pacific, and includes Aotearoa artists BC Collective, Louisa Afoa, Ahilapalapa Rands, and Edith Amituanai. In this essay, Indigenous Canadian artist and curator Tania Willard contextualises the work within a wider art history and personal history.

 

Writing

A Question of Identity

By Grace Lai

08.11.2019

New Zealand jeweller Johanna Zellmer's practice focuses on national identity and the varying bureaucracy that can divide us. In this essay, Curator Grace Lai looks specifically at Zellmer's recent three-month residency in Gothenburg, Sweden, and her exhibition of crafted and altered coins which acted as a vehicle to comment on the current political climate.

Writing

The Factory and its Memories

By Kari Schmidt

16.10.2019

A look at artist Matthew Galloway's residency at Cripta 747 in Turin, Italy, and the resulting exhibition The Factory and its Memories, which concentrates on the now defunct Nebiolo factory building, whose history is engrained in Italian graphic design and typography, reflecting Galloway’s own background as a graphic designer.

Writing

On Emptiness

By Rosa Gubay

02.10.2019

Oliver Perkins and Patrick Lundberg’s recent show On Emptiness at FOLD Gallery in London presented a conversation between the two artists' work, focusing on their object-centric painting practice. Writer Rosa Gubay analyses their use of negative space and the varying forms it can take.