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 Emma O'Neill
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.
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.
Christie's, Paris presents OCEANIA NOW: Contemporary Art from the Pacific, a physical exhibition and an online sale, produced in collaboration with New Zealand gallerists Alison Bartley and John Gow. Featuring 36 works from 14 artists, many based in Aotearoa, this is the institution’s first dedicated auction of works by contemporary artists from the Pacific. HUM is thrilled to be a media partner of this unprecedented project, running from 11 February - 01 March 2022.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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 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 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 Emil McAvoy
Within the greater context of the recent massacre in Christchurch, San Fransisco-based New Zealand photographer Jono Rotman discusses his new work Matériel which depicts a series of privately owned guns in the US, and his recent publication Mongrelism, which features the New Zealand-based gang, the Mighty Mongrel Mob.
By James Belich, Lana Lopesi, Matariki Williams, Pauline Autet
Missed HUM's panel discussion Whose Oceania? in London? We're excited to publish the transcript of this discussion, which proved to be a stimulating talk interrogating the themes and issues addressed in the exhibition Oceania at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, as well as the responses to it from across Te Moana Nui a Kiwa.
By Hamish Coney, Kevin Ireland
Although born in Yorkshire, the late artist Michael Illingworth immigrated to Aotearoa at age 20 in the early 1950s, before returning to England and Europe for a brief but formative period in 1959. Hamish Coney interviews the poet and writer Kevin Ireland OBE, one of Illingworth’s oldest New Zealand friends, on their London years (1959-61); a period of, as Ireland explains, 'high-octane education and inspiration'.
By Andrew Clifford
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.
By Jon Bywater
New Zealand critic Jon Bywater discusses documenta 14 and the work of participating artists from Aotearoa New Zealand, Ralph Hotere, Mata Aho Collective and Nathan Pohio, marking the first time New Zealand artists have been included in documenta.
By Alastair Carruthers, Contemporary HUM, Mata Aho Collective, Tessa Giblin
In this panel discussion between Erena Baker and Bridget Reweti (Mata Aho Collective), Alastair Carruthers (Commissioner of NZ at Venice 2017) and Tessa Giblin (Commissioner and Curator of Ireland at Venice 2017), the participants discuss globalisation, national identity, the politics of representation and New Zealand's role in contemporary international art discourse.
By Rhana Devenport
Rhana Devenport, Curator of the New Zealand Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, sets the context for Emissaries, Lisa Reihana's exhibition representing Aotearoa New Zealand at the 57th Biennale di Venezia.
By Aaron Lister, Damian Skinner
Writer and curator Aaron Lister talks to art historian Damien Skinner about the 'New Commonwealth Internationalism', a moment of post-WWII postcolonial internationalism in the British art scene, and its influence on British and New Zealand art history.
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 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 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 Maia Nuku
Maia Nuku, Associate Curator for Oceanic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, talks about the ways in which new curatorial practices are bringing life to the Oceanic collection at the Met. Nuku's collaborative research projects sees new connections between Pacific artists, scholars, cultural practitioners, curators and conservators, as well as Digital and Education teams from within the museum, allowing an activation of objects, and a "complication of institutional narratives."
Panel discussion in London
Whose Oceania? is Contemporary HUM’s second public panel discussion, held on 29 September 2018 to coincide with the opening of the Oceania exhibition, on at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
This exhibition is a major international event for Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific, and we have decided to take the opportunity to bring together several professionals from different backgrounds and practices in Māori and Pacific art, as well as colonial studies, to offer informed and critical responses to the show.
By Louise Garrett
Nathan Pohio’s Raise the anchor, unfurl the sails, set course to the centre of an ever setting sun! was one of three projects by artists from Aotearoa New Zealand presented at documenta 14. Louise Garrett explores Pohio’s presentation in Kassel and invites the artist himself to reflect on his participation and to discuss the work he presented in Athens, documenta’s parallel location in 2017.
By Will Gresson
London-based New Zealand writer Will Gresson looks back at the way New Zealand has presented itself at the Venice Biennale, since first officially taking part in 2001. In particular, Gresson shares a personal response to the last five national projects and some thoughts on the relevance of cross-national presentations in the future.
By Contemporary HUM
As part of Contemporary HUM’s series of interviews with New Zealand artists exhibiting during the 57th Venice Biennale, we talk to Lisa Reihana, New Zealand's representative at the Biennale about her experience in Venice.