Johanna Mechen

Moturoa Stream_Long Island in the City (2015)

10 min 19 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

A video created for Upstream, an annual art trail held for four days in Wellington's Central Park.

"The artwork exists firstly in a temporal and performative form. An immersive mining of site—physically, orally and visually. Collecting of data, dumped polly balls, Wandering Willy. Crouching, moving slowly, picking, bagging, repeating. What is the collective memory of this place? Once the unique stories run out, they become the same—the seeking of sanctuary among the introduced and now disintegrating mature pines. Moturoa rushes into life here for its small run above ground, just as the city and its sound die to a thin silence. "There's glowworms in the gully" and "The fish come back every year, through the drains, to spawn". Some carers of this park are here everyday. Four stories emerge and are threaded together. David collects in season Kawakawa berries, chews them and spits them in to the water for the Koaro. He points out the water holes where the koura live. Agency and subjectivity in story telling come into focus as a moving image reconstruction forms - bring to light the hidden stories. This is offered back to the users and volunteers at the site as a video work, installed over the art trail, which reveals a curiosity or little known insight into the hidden life of the park and stream—a life that the park shelters."

Artist's statement

"By rights a video work in bush should feel an intrusion, but Johanna Mechen’s Moturoa Stream... speaks in both placement and imagery exquisitely and sensitively to the stream it sits alongside."

Mark Amer, The Big Idea

Other works by Johanna Mechen

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