Essays

Writing

The Mind’s Eye

By Susanne Prinz

11.05.2022

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. 

Writing

Betty Collings and 'To Begin, Again: A Prehistory of the Wex, 1968–89'

By Dan Munn

07.04.2022

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. 

Writing

Reimagined Futures

By Johanna Bear

23.03.2022

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. 

Writing

Naahdohbii: To Draw Water & What It Means To Come Together

By Franchesca Hebert-Spence

10.03.2022

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.

Writing

Settling troubled waters with Emma McIntyre

By Megan Macnaughton

23.02.2022

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. 

Writing

A painter’s painter

By Clare Gemima

07.02.2022

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”.

Writing

We See the Same Stars

By Gabriela Salgado, Sabine Casparie

16.11.2021

In this interview with Gabriela Salgado, former Artistic Director of Te Tuhi, Sabine Casparie sits down with the curator to discuss her new London-based project, Southern Stars, a platform connecting artists from the southern hemisphere. Casparie and Salgado discuss how the European art world is responding to new, Indigenous voices, and Southern Stars’ first exhibition, Golden Daughters of the Sun, featuring Aotearoa artist Salome Tanuvasa.

Writing

“Don’t Learn Anything More!”

By Connie Brown

26.10.2021

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. 

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.