Artists in Conversation #6 - Vea Mafile'o & Jeremy Leatinu'u
Ahead of the premiere of Truth or Consequences, CIRCUIT’s 2018 programme of Artist Cinema Commissions, Vea Mafile`o and Jeremy Leatinu’u discuss responding to curator Erika Balsom’s brief which challenged the artists to consider personal and public ‘realities’.
“What is true to you may not be true to your neighbour.” -Vea Mafile`o
00:00 - Introductions. Mark Amery (MA) Introduces the venue for the recording, the setting, the Wānanga in Mangare.
01:23 - MA: to Jeremy Leatinu’u (JL): “What are you doing here, (Jeremy)?” JA: Discusses learning Te Reo Māori via full immersion, and a subsequently enriched understanding of stories and histories of Aotearoa New Zealand
03:28 - Vea Mafile’o (VM): On her upcoming feature film, her general Film/TV industry background. Describes the place of her Art practice alongside her other work
05:39 - MA: Introduces CIRCUIT’s 2018 Artist Cinema Commissions programme Truth or Consequences. Reads out curator Erika Balsom’s provocation “We’re an empire now and when we act we create our own reality…”.
06:15 - VM: Discusses her video Toa`ipuapuagā (Strength in Suffering) and response to the provocation. Discusses using existing footage of stigmata and question of “Is this real?”
08:07 - MA: Notes international news coverage of the stigmata event
09:08 - VM: “It divided the community, it divided Samoa, some people were for it some people were against it…. she (Toa) was caught in this situation of these events happening to her, out of her control… or are they in her control?”
09:49 - VM: “I’m not an overly religious person…for a lot of Samoan’s, it was a case of ‘Is this good or is this bad?’ For me, it’s a case of ‘Is this real or not real?’’ Discusses the subjects conversion to Catholicism, in order to go to Rome “to get an audience” with the Pope
12:32 - JL: Notes the role of VM’s work in relation to broader media coverage
13:00 - MA: Asks about JL’s response to the curatorial provocation, “Mai i te kei o te waka ki te ihu o te waka”
13:27 - JL: Discusses the influence of the book Nga Iwi O Tainui: The Traditional History of the Tainui People. Makes analogy of between the formal structure of the film (two contradicting accounts of a journey) and his education in Te Reo Māori - “You are introduced to a whole bunch of stories from all over the country, and you’re also introduced to different accounts of the same story”
15:05 - JL: Discusses the visual language of the film, describes “pick(ing) parts of the land that could be potential traces of a part in the story” and the films attempt to “massage the imagination of the (viewer)”
16:30 - MA: Asks about the question of truth versus cultural perspective, language
16:56 - VM: “...Truth is totally dependent on your own perceptions … what is true to you may not be true to your neighbour”
18:36 - ENDS