Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert is pleased to present Extracts, our second solo exhibition with renowned international artist Lisa Reihana.
Extracts brings together carefully selected scenes from a range of Reihana’s most notable video and photography series, including Pelt (2009), Tai Whetuki – House of Death (2015), in Pursuit of Venus (2017), Nomads of the Sea (2019), and Ihi (2020). The resulting suite of photographs survey 14 years of practice (2009 – 2023), providing a unique opportunity to engage with new and historical works, some of which are being exhibited for the first time.
The larger video and photographic series from which the stills in this exhibition are drawn have been exhibited in noteworthy institutions internationally, including Brooklyn Museum (USA), Plug In ICA (Canada), Royal Academy (UK), Quai Branly Museum (France), Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea (Italy), Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa (New Zealand), and QAGOMA (Australia). Extracts arrests specific frames from these cinematic and ephemeral works for a more intimate engagement. In these photographs, Reihana establishes a powerful connection between us and the performers in her works, who enact various identities including museological objects, Indigenous Māori peoples, colonial figures, and Papatūānuku (earth mother) and her son Tāne, among others. Most photographs feature a single figure, each occupying a fictional or culturally significant site. These scenes function as generative alternatives to western historical records, proposing possibilities for pre-and post-colonial histories. The stills taken from in Pursuit of Venus more overtly address real and speculative scenes from first contact, referencing Captain James Cook’s voyages to the Pacific.
Reihana has worked for over four decades as an artist, producer and cultural interlocutor across film, costume, text and photography. A key proponent in the development of Maori art since the 1990s, Reihana’s cinematic language counters the bias of recorded histories to re-centre non-western cultural identity, redefining how histories of colonisation are represented and remembered.
In 2017, Reihana represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale with her large-scale video installation in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17). Reihana’s most ambitious video work to date, GROUNDLOOP (2022), was recently commissioned by the Art Gallery of New South Wales for the launch of the much-anticipated Sydney Modern, and can currently be viewed in the North Building. In 2014, Reihana was awarded an Arts Laureate Award by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. She was subsequently awarded the Te Tohu Toi Ke Te Waka Toi Maori Arts Innovation Award from Creative New Zealand in 2015, and in 2018 was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Photography by Simon Hewson
Videography by Simon Hewson
Video Soundscape by Lisa Reihana, Ihi 2020