Tai timu! Tai pari! The tide ebbs, the tide flows
Tai timu! Tai pari! brings together a collection of recent artists’ film and video from Aotearoa New Zealand. Screening at Remai Modern, Saskatoon on 16 October 2020, this programme includes works by Rangituhia Hollis, Janet Lilo, Neihana Gordon–Stables, Natasha Matila-Smith, Layne Waerea, Bridget Reweti, Jeremy Leatinu’u, Nova Paul. The works reflect a diverse range of contemporary responses to indigenous histories and current discourse. An array of filmic languages are presented and engage in topics including language revitalisation; the commodification of natural resources; indigenous representation within film and queer narratives. Tai timu! Tai Pari! is curated by Shannon Te Ao and in collaboration with CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand.
1) Rangituhia Hollis, Across the face of the moon (2020) Digital Video, Silent 3 min 32 sec
"I look up to the moon, and I say inside myself “I used to be afraid of you”. Now I see your beauty up there. I feel your light carry my eyes across the stars. You’re directing me home." Rangituhia Hollis (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu) is an artist, writer and educator.
2) Janet Lilo, Untitled (2019) Digital Video, Sound 4 minutes 31 seconds
Janet Lilo's Untitled (2019) takes as its' central motif a tree, photographed through the seasons. Together with the sound of a school haka (a Maori action song) performed by children, and the image of a fire, the work quietly reflects without words on the disbanding of one home and the creation of another. Janet Lilo (Nga Puhi, Apia & Alofi) is an artist and educator.
3) Neihana Gordon–Stables, I like this queer scene but I’ve slept with them both already (2019) Digital Video, Sound 1 min 32 sec
“I like this queer scene but i've slept with both of them encourages us to imagine what we desire in our lovers. Filmed in te-whanganui-a-tara, known for it’s small queer scene like any other, I like this queer scene magnifies our relationships, acknowledges our past, and explores how queers deal with love and friendship interpersonally." – NGS
4) Natasha Matila-Smith - If I die, please delete my Soundcloud (2019) Digital Video, Sound 7 minutes 37 seconds
In the middle of a sleepless night a variety of digital devices provide comfort and distraction for a restless mind. But does it help? Natasha Matila Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Hine, Sale'aumua (Samoan), Pākehā) is an artist whose work seeks to “resist definition by colonial or romanticised pre-colonial standards.”
5) Layne Waerea - An Unsuccessful attempt at chasing fog (2012) Digital Video, Sound 3 min 44 sec
February 18, 6:43 a.m., 2012. Instructions: to chase fog from a neighbouring farm. Layne Waerea (Te Arawa, Ngati Kahungunu, Pakeha) is an Auckland based artist and lawyer whose practice involves carrying out performance art interventions in public spaces.
6) Bridget Reweti – Ziarah (2017) Digital Video, Sound 10 minutes 21 seconds
Bridget Reweti’s Ziarah takes to the open sea in search of the remains of Tupaia, a nobleman from Raiatea in the Society Islands who was indispensable in liaising between Māori and the crew of James Cook’s ship the Endeavour on its first visit to Aotearoa New Zealand in 1769. Guided by Safir Islami, Reweti travels to Damar Besar, an uninhabited island in Indonesia where Tupaia and his nephew Taiata are believed to be buried. Rather than simply relay information about Tupaia, Islami telescopes then and now, bringing together Tupaia’s story with remarks about contemporary ecological problems. Bridget Reweti (Ngāti Ranginui, Ngāi Te Rangi)is an artist who works individually and as part of the collective Mata Aho.
7) Jeremy Leatinu’u - Mai i te kei o te waka ki te ihu o te waka (2018) Digital Video, Sound 7 minutes 54 seconds
"With a title meaning “from the bottom of the canoe to the front of the canoe,” this work raises questions of narration and translation by recounting two interconnected stories in a voiceover performed by the artist with quiet intensity. The first is in te reo Māori, subtitled in English, while the second is in English, subtitled in te reo Māori. Both tell of trajectories of migration and settlement that pre-date the arrival of Europeans in Aotearoa (New Zealand), of crossing sea and land in search of a different future, carrying the accumulated practices of the past to new horizons. “ Jeremy Leatinu’u (Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Hāmoa) works in performance art, public intervention, video, installation and has co-created a number of collaborative and participatory projects.
8) Nova Paul - This is not dying (2010) 16mm film, Sound (20.00)
Nova Paul’s This is Not Dying (2010) is a twenty-minute film utilising three-colour separation to liberate hue from the form in which it inheres. With a soundtrack by the late Māori steel guitar legend Ben Tawhiti, Paul’s film celebrates a day in the life of her hapu or tribal sub-group in the North of the North Island of New Zealand. Under Whatitiri Mountain, near Whangarei, the cluster of houses that Māori would designate as a marae, is the site of simple communal living: card playing, swimming in the creek, fixing motorbikes and eating together. Nova Paul (Te Uri Ro Roi, Te Parawhau /Ngā Puhi) is a Senior Lecturer at Auckland University of Technology. Her film-making practice draws from early cinema, experimental film histories and fourth wave film discourse to consider the poetics and politics of place, self-determinacy and the image and the role of story telling in talking back to neo-liberal hegemonies.