Reviews

Writing

FAFSWAG at documenta fifteen

By Will Fredo

20.09.2022

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.

Writing

Meandering Gestures, Infiltrating Language

By Imaad Majeed

08.09.2022

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.

Writing

On Wet Ontologies, Fluid Hierarchies and Hope-Soaked Propositions at the 23rd Biennale of Sydney

By Emma O'Neill

26.08.2022

This year’s Biennale of Sydney, titled rīvus, included the work of Aotearoa-based artists Sopolemalama Filipe Tohi and Mata Aho Collective. Emma O’Neill, a writer working on Gadigal Land, responds to the exhibition and some of the work presented by the 89 participants invited to interact with different forms and bodies of water.

Writing

documenta fifteen or lumbung one?

By Bruce E. Phillips

12.08.2022

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.

Writing

Purple Rain

By Clémentine Deliss

07.06.2022

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.

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

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

On Louise Stevenson's 'Someplace Else'

By Chris Holdaway

24.08.2021

In Someplace Else, Louise Stevenson chronicles her complex and unfolding relationship with Hungary, travelling back and forth from Aotearoa since her first visit in 1991. In this elaborate, handbound mixed media book, Stevenson traces decades of travel with careful preservation of ephemera, annotating ticket stubs and found photographs with her own drawings and writing. In this piece, poet and bookmaker Chris Holdaway considers the memories that inhere in overlooked items, repurposed carefully by Stevenson as talismans of place and the passage of time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Discreet Charm of Chance

By Jari Niesner

23.08.2019

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.  

Writing

Push and Pull

By Jessica Douglas

25.10.2018

In the wake of recent discussions of London-based Francis Upritchard's work, Jessica Douglas views the exhibition Wetwang Slack, on now at the Barbican Centre in London, through the aesthetic quality and craftsmanship of Upritchard's work, alongside the wider consequences of her practice.

Writing

Maddie Leach: The Grief Prophesy

By Hjalmar Falk

08.06.2018

Maddie Leach's project The Grief Prophesy, created for the Gothenburg International Biennale for Contemporary Art (GIBCA) 2017, addresses the disturbing and intriguing circumstances surrounding an alleged Satanic murder, committed by members of a well-known Swedish black metal band. Swedish historian Hjalmar Falk discusses the work.

Writing

With the sun aglow, I have my pensive moods

By Andrew Clifford

04.12.2017

Andrew Clifford writes on Shannon Te Ao’s installation, With the sun aglow I have my pensive moods, one of four key new commissions for the 2017 Edinburgh Art Festival.

Writing

Luke Willis Thompson: A Sister Image

By Frances Loeffler

15.07.2017

Frances Loeffler writes on London-based New Zealand artist Luke Willis Thompson's residency at the Chisenhale Gallery in London, culminating in autoportrait (2017), a video portrait of Diamond Reynolds reflecting Thompson's ongoing enquiry into questions of race, class and social inequality.

Writing

Nature at its Queerest

By Ulrike Gerhardt

20.05.2017

Ulrike Gerhardt reponds to Berlin-based New Zealand artist Alicia Frankovich's first major solo show in Germany, OUTSIDE BEFORE BEYOND at Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf. 

Writing

Preparing the Ground

By Chloe Barker

22.04.2017

Arts Programme Coordinator at Tyneside Cinema Chloe Barker reflects on New Zealand artist Cat Auburn's new moving image work Preparing the Ground (2017) and first solo exhibition in the UK, at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Writing

This Model World, Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art

By Will Gresson

08.12.2016

Will Gresson reviews the book This Model World, Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art, by Anthony Byrt, published in 2016.

Writing

Singing with the Bees

By Pauline Autet

08.12.2016

HUM's Editor Pauline Autet reviews Anne Noble's exhibition Abeille, presented at the Abbaye de Noirlac in France from June to November 2016.

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

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

Playing with Gender at the Tropenmuseum

By Millie Riddell

08.10.2020

What a Genderful World, the current exhibition at Amsterdam's Tropenmuseum, focuses on gender in the modern world and features Aotearoa artist Yuki Kihara; the next representative for New Zealand at the Venice Biennale. Writer Millie Riddell explores how the works presented function within the anthropological lens used in this exhibition and the balance between the genuine discussions of gender and the corporate and colonial undertones of the presentation.