George Watson

They are cruel (2021)

32 sec (excerpt) of 4 min 31 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Sound

"'Kōtiro, Emepaea' is the first major solo exhibition by George Watson (Ngāti Porou, Moriori, Ngāti Mutunga) comprising a newly commissioned video and installation. The work draws on the artist’s ongoing interest in the literature and life of modernist writer Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) in order to explore concepts of imagination, desire, belonging, and the politics of memory in settler Aotearoa.

For the video work 'They are cruel', Watson has worked closely with sound designer and artist Frances Libeau, editor Anastasia Doniants, voice actors Jordan Mihi Walker and Rose McGrannachan, filmmaker and artist Selina Ershadi, and wood worker and artist Josephine Jelicich to build and film a set which reimagines scenes from Mansfield’s 1907 short story, 'Summer Idyll'. The resulting exhibition is an immersive filmic and sculptural installation, both of which pull apart quintessential forms of the colonial villa, as a meditation on Te Ao Pākehā and the often unsettling nature of settlement."

- Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery

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