Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Taking Time

"Dandy" Lisa Reihana 2007. Image Courtesy Govett-Brewster Gallery
Innovative contemporary Maori artist, Lisa Reihana believes things should take time; hence her latest artistic project Digital Marae was conceived as a project that will evolve over two decades. Reihana (b.1964) is one of New Zealand’s foremost film and multi-media artists and her work has been exhibited internationally and is in a number of major national and international collections. Now we have the additional pleasure of a richly-illustrated volume of her works, Digital Marae/Lisa Reihana, produced by Taranaki’s Govett-Brewster Gallery. Digital Marae explores the concept of the marae (meeting place), which is the traditional place, bound by complex protocols, where Maori come together. Various architectural components of the central wharenui (meeting house) act as conduits for the passing on of traditional knowledge through the paintings, carvings, designs and the tukutuku panels that adorn them. One of the major features of the interior of the wharenui is the pouwhenuathe carved figures that represent individual ancestors. It is these figures that Lisa Reihana has reinterpreted in a contemporary sense, producing haunting life-size photographs of men and women. In 2007 the Govett-Brewster presented the latest incarnation of Digital Marae (the first was in 2001); a suite of new photographs that reference atua (gods) who are male and takatapui (cross-gendered) figures. This publication, edited by Govett-Brewster Director and curator, Rhana Devenport, includes writing by leading Maori architectural historian, Dr Deirdre Brown and cultural theorist and sociologist, Nikos Papastergiadis from the University of Melbourne with Melbourne-based curator-writer, Victoria Lyn and others. Lisa Reihana is currently the Artist-in-Residence at McCahon House in Titirangi, Auckland. She was short-listed for theWalters Prize earlier this year and Digital Marae was short-listed for the 2009 Anne Landa Award in Australia, an acquisitional award for video and new media. Digital Marae/Lisa Reihana is now available through the Govett-Brewster Art & Design Shop, and selected bookstores around New Zealand and Australia. (ISBN 9780908848324; 48 pages; $25). www.govettbrewster.com

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin