By Bruce E. Phillips
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.
By Johanna Bear
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.
By Cat Auburn, Daniel Malone, Pauline Autet, Ruth Buchanan
For Contemporary HUM’s third panel in October 2021, On Civicness, we sat down with Cat Auburn, Ruth Buchanan, and Daniel Malone in Berlin to talk about their practices, recent projects and what “civicness” means to them as Aotearoa artists working abroad—spanning Polish experimental theatre, the memory functions of NFTs and the power relations of collecting institutions. Read the full transcript of the panel discussion here!
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 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.
By Ahilapalapa Rands, Jo Walsh
London-based cultural producer Jo Walsh and artist Ahilapalapa Rands discuss some of the exhibitions and programmes taking place in the UK to mark the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook's departure to the Pacific, which also resonates to many as the start of colonisation in Moana-Nui-A-Kiwa. In this conversation piece, Rands and Walsh focus in on the projects they have been involved in, working with The British Library, Whitby Library and other UK institutions, and their efforts to disrupt the major narratives surrounding Cook.
By Contemporary HUM
As part of Contemporary HUM's series of interviews with New Zealand artists exhibiting during the 57th Venice Biennale, we talk with Bruce Barber about his work Party without Party (2017), included in the exhibition Personal Structures: Open Borders at the Palazzo Bembo.
For Contemporary HUM’s third panel in October 2021, On Civicness, we invited Cat Auburn, Ruth Buchanan, and Daniel Malone in Berlin to talk about their practices, recent projects and what “civicness” means to them as Aotearoa artists working abroad. In Part One, the artists introduce their recent practice and consider their relationship to civicness, community and the public sphere through a chosen project.
Panel discussion in Berlin
On 2 October 2021, Contemporary HUM continues its series of panel discussions, this time focusing on Aotearoa’s large artist contingent in Berlin, and throughout Europe.
This conversation explored the idea of ‘civicness’ and how it is tied to social responsibility within a global community, taken from the perspective of three artists from Aotearoa who are actively taking part in public life through their practice. What does collective work or cooperation with others allow in contrast to an individual practice, and is authorship important in a collaborative project? What does a site-specific response look like when working in situ within vastly different contexts, from art institutions and public theatres to the NFT market? Is there a relation to be traced between civicness and social change and what tools can be used when attempting to rethink power relations?
Guest speakers include Glasgow-based Cat Auburn; Berlin-based Ruth Buchanan; and Warsaw-based Daniel Malone. HUM’s Editor Pauline Autet moderated the discussion.
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 Lance Pearce
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.
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 Samuel Walsh
Arts facilitator and producer Samuel Walsh reflects on his residency at Zaratan - Arte Contemporânea in Lisbon, Portugal, where he was able to develop ideas for his own artist-run space, Strange Haven, in Tāmaki Makaurau. Although thousands of miles apart, Walsh and the facilitators of Zaratan discovered their shared joys and struggles of running an art space, and the importance of community in their practice.
By David Lillington
HUM commissioned David Lillington to review Amanda Newall's recent project at Exposed Arts Projects in London, which occupies an old Jaguar car dealership. Newall's site-specific response, called Hotel Jaguar, encompasses an eclectic range of works and collaborations with other artists, on topics ranging from Jaguar and Brexit; Trump and witches; social dreaming and murders.
By Murdoch Stephens, Paoletta Holst, Raewyn Martyn
A conversation between Aotearoa New Zealand artist Raewyn Martyn, Dutch artist Paoletta Holst, and writer and publisher Murdoch Stephens, during their residencies at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, Netherlands, reflecting on the relationship between art, activism and how these processes and practices relate to very real, life-and-death, refugee and immigration policies.
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.