Screenshot with the animation, "He ahi kōangi" (cool fire) playing
May 2021 exhibition view.
For the March 2021 exhibition Take Care
, shown at artHAUS in Auckland, I selected 14 artists in countries more stricken by COVID-19 than we are here in Aotearoa /New Zealand. I partnered them with local artists who would serve as caretakers for the work of the overseas artist.
For example, Atlanta (USA) based, Masud Olufani worked with Ursula Christel, giving her instructions to buy a copy of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations
and then to cut and burn the book. Ursula created a wall installation for the charred book along with a drawing of Masud's of an anonymous Black slave for this exhibition.
Another example was the video projection, Nukta
(the meaningful dot) where Pakistani Australia based, Narjis Mirza provided the materials which Michelle Mayn then installed as an interpretation of the ideas Narijs had discussed with her. This exhibition by these artists will tour to the Papakura Art Gallery later in 2021. See this page for details: sonjavank.com/takecare
However it all began with a zoom session where we heard of the effects of lockdown and how the artists' adapted their practice. A common thread in the conversations was a sense of being in an between space caused by a shift in what used to be the 'day to day.' As Robert Hamilton based in Canada, expressed it, "It's like living in a space ship."
He tito nekehanga a waenga | Choreographies of in-between-ess
short video clips of these 14 artists who initially all speak at once so in order to listen to a story, the viewer needs to silence each voice, individually, by clicking on the mute button next person's name. The next row of buttons underneath are 19 buttons solely in the Māori language where each poetic phrase relates to an animation that runs up or down between columns of videos.
You can view this work in this video at 1:26
for 34 seconds and at 4:20
for 1 min 15 seconds.