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 Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Ariana Davis, Jaimie Waititi, Jessica Palalagi
The final episode in our four-part talanoa series, produced in collaboration with In*ter*is*land Collective, sees writer and poet Anne-Marie Te Whiu respond to a discussion between Ariana Davis, Jessica Palalagi and Jaimie Waititi as they explore the idea of ReMoanafication, individual and collective connections, and reclaiming narratives.
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 Chris Holdaway
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.
01 October 2021 —
01 October 2022
Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia
By Julie Nagam
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.
By AJ Fata, Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Drew Broderick, Josh Tengan
The third episode of our four-part talanoa series, produced in collaboration with In*ter*is*land Collective, sees writer and poet Anne-Marie Te Whiu respond to a discussion between AJ Fata, Josh Tengan, and Drew Kahuʻāina Broderick who explore the concept of time and ancestral knowledge as a path for the historical future.
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.
Contemporary HUM is excited to launch our partnership with AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions. The Paris-based non-profit organisation, founded in 2014, focuses on the creation, indexation and distribution of information on women artists of the 20th century. During our partnership with AWARE we have worked on including more Aotearoa New Zealand women artists in their online profiles. AWARE is a great resource for championing women artists and we’re thrilled to be working with them. A huge thanks to Creative New Zealand for making this partnership possible.
By Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Isoa Tupua, Lyall Hakaraia
Our second offering in this four-part talanoa series, produced in collaboration with In*ter*is*land Collective, sees Lyall Hakaraia and Isoa Tupua discuss queer communities/scenes in London, witnessing the bare minimum, gentrification, and how to clock an invite to a sex party. Written response by Brisbane-based poet, editor, weaver and festival director Anne-Marie Te Whiu.
A collaboration between In*ter*is*land Collective and Contemporary HUM consisting of four edited online talanoa (conversations) between several tagata Moana (Māori and Pasifika people) across the globe which centre around the principles of talanoa; ofa, mafana, malie and faka'apa'apa (love, warmth, humour and respect) and the ability to have a "reciprocal knowledge exchange".
The talanoa within this series will focus on topics such as life in the diaspora, moana futurism, queer identities, and ReMoanafication, and all will be individually responded to in written form by Anne-Marie Te Whiu (Te Rarawa), reminding us of our intricate connection and shared ancestry in Te Moananui-a-Kiwa.
By Afatasi The Artist, Anne-Marie Te Whiu, Momoe i manu ae ala atea’e Tasker
In this first episode of our new special series of talanoa (online conversations) produced in collaboration with In*ter*is*land Collective, Anne-Marie Te Whiu responds to a discussion between Afatasi the Artist and Momoe i manu ae ala atea’e Tasker on identity and how it's expressed in their creative practices, finding their community in various daily rituals while living in the diaspora, and maintaining their connections to 'home'.
By Jungah Lee
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.
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.
Panel discussion in Taipei
Contemporary HUM is a proud partner of the Taiwan-New Zealand Dialogue on Cultural Exchange Policies amid Covid-19 panel discussion, organised by the Taiwan Cultural Policy Research Association. Held in the context of the Tua-Tiu-Tiann International Festival of Arts (TTTIFA) in Taipei, this panel discussion seeks to unpack the impact of Covid-19 on arts practitioners and the need for cultural exchange and dialogue.
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 Eloise Callister-Baker
From putting her Doctor of Fine Arts on hold to dealing with the isolation caused by the Coronavirus lockdown, Vietnamese/Aotearoa artist Anh Trần discusses why she wanted to take on the two-year Rijksakademie artist program in the Netherlands, her move to Amsterdam and how it's impacted her practice and life.
By Zoe Crook
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.
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 Pauline Autet
We finish our first series focusing on the Asia region with Contemporary HUM Editor Pauline Autet interviewing Mata Aho Collective on their participation in the Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh in February 2020, where they partook in panel discussions and practised a type of waiata (song) called a pātere.
By Ysabelle Cheung
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.
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 Signe Rose
In a letter to her husband sculptor Martyn Reynolds, artist Signe Rose reflects on their life in Vienna as parents and artists, having moved to Austria from New Zealand in 2010. She also shares about feeling like a constant tourist, and about the ways in which her art is viewed by both European and New Zealand audiences.
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 Millie Riddell
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.
By Tania Willard
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.
By Grace Lai
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.
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 Leah Reynolds
London-based artist Sriwhana Spong has been exhibiting widely throughout the UK in 2019. In this essay, writer Leah Reynolds reviews Spong’s recent exhibition Ida-Ida at Spike Island in Bristol, considering the key, interrelating ideas of her work, and Spong’s use of a variety of mediums.
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.