Sydney, Australia: From 12 January to 29 March, Campbelltown Arts Centre presents Cinemania, the first ever Australian survey of New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana. Part of the Sydney Festival 2018, Cinemania showcases three decades of video and photographic works underscoring her international status as a pioneer of experimental video art and multimedia installations.
An artist of Māori and British descent, Reihana works across digital video, film, photography, sound, performance, sculpture and design, unpacking complex ideas around Māori identity and interrogating the colonial gaze, fabrication of history and representation of Indigenous peoples.
Cinemania reveals the full spectrum of Reihana’s practice from early experimental works in digital video such as Wog Features, 1990 to in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015—17, Lisa’s most ambitious work to date which premiered at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Almost ten years in the making, this work is a cinematic reimagining of the French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique, 1804—1805, or The Voyages of Captain Cook, and includes scenes featuring Campbelltown’s local Dharawal community.
The exhibition, which traces Reihana’s ongoing preoccupation with costume and identity and her interest in fiction and non-fiction characters, will feature more than twenty-four artworks including the early experimental Native Portraits n.19897, 1998 to futuristic films, dystopian photography and immersive environments, such as Fantastic Egg, 2002, PELT, 2009 and Tai Whetuki – House of Death Redux, 2015 – 16.
Campbelltown Arts Centre Director Michael Dagostino commented, “We are thrilled to be presenting the first Australian survey of Lisa Reihana at Campbelltown Arts Centre. Lisa was instrumental in forging the development of time-based art in New Zealand, and her technically ambitious works have gained her international acclaim, including representing New Zealand at the 2017 Venice Biennale.”
“Lisa assumes many roles in the creation of her work, that of the artist as well as actor, filmmaker, photographer, director, historian and dramaturge. Her practice is driven by collaborative work with First Nation communities, across Australia and the Pacific, and she has continued this commitment by working with the local Dharawal community here in Campbelltown,” he said.
About the artist
Lisa Reihana is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice explores how identity and history are represented, and how these intersect with concepts of place and community. The subjects of Reihana’s portraiture inhabit a world in which the boundaries of past, present, and future are mutable; their identities are likewise unfixed and transgress everyday expectations of cultural and social norms.
Born in 1964, Lisa Reihana is of Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine and Ngāi Tu descent tribally connected to the Far North of New Zealand through her father Huri Waka Reihana. She graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1987, and recently completed her Master of Design through the Unitec Institute of Technology.
Reihana has exhibited widely in New Zealand and internationally. Reihana’s large scale video installation, in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17), was selected to represent New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2017, and in 2014 she was awarded an Arts Laureate Award by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. Her works are held in private and public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa; Auckland Art Gallery; National Gallery of Australia; Staatliche Museum, Berlin; Susan O'Connor Foundation, Texas and Brooklyn Museum, New York.
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