Peter Wareing

Allan Sekula at Work (2023)

36 min 51 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

"On 5 October 2011, the Rena oil spill occurred off the coast of Tauranga, on the North Island of Aotearoa, New Zealand, after the container ship and cargo vessel grounded on the Astrolabe Reef. Bad weather in the early days caused the hull to break in half and containers falling overboard and being washed ashore on Motiti Island. Considered the country's worst maritime environmental disaster, American photographer Allan Sekula arrived shortly after. He spent ten days on the ground filming the cleaning operations on Papamoa Beach conducted mainly by an army of volunteers manually removing the oil from the sand, gathering aerial footage from a helicopter of the conditions of the ship about to be broken in half and recording interviews with the locals (fishermen, cleaning up volunteers, wildlife rescue teams) whose livelihoods were deeply affected as the oil spill threatened the Bay of Plenty's wildlife and ecosystem and polluted its rich fishing waters. The film records the filmmaker at work, patiently alongside, becoming a parallel document of the Rena oil disaster to the late artist's lost footage." - Artist's Statement

Other works by Peter Wareing

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