Kōhikohiko, a Māori term referring to
braided lightning which means to flash frequently, is a
collaborative audio-visual exhibition between five Wellington based Māori
artists opening at Toi Pōneke Gallery this month.
Batley, Dave Matthews, Adrian McCleland, Eugene Hansen and Shannon Te Ao were
brought together by Toi Pōneke Manager Paora Allen to create the exhibition. It
will coincide with this year’s Māori Art Market and a symposium celebrating 50
years of Contemporary Māori Art coming up at Te Wharewaka and the Wellington
City Gallery respectively.
Allen initially approached Eugene and Shannon asking them if they would work
together on an exhibition.
some kōrero we thought it would be nice to activate the Māori concept
Tuakana-Teina, which refers to the relationship between an older person and a
younger person and is specific to teaching and learning in a Māori context,” he
says. “Thus Alex, Dave and Adrian were asked to join in”
Mathews and McCleland are former students of Hansen’s and Te Ao’s,
who are current lecturers at Massey University’s College of Creative
Arts. Instead of working as individuals on art works separately the five
artists have been working closely like a whānau and pulled together individual
experiences that have been informing their practices over many years.
installation consists of video projections and a pair of 600
watt vintage sub-woofers speakers. Although the installation is
intentionally minimal, the imagery and audio is aimed to embodying an imagined
social or political space.
Te Ao, who was recently awarded the prestigious Walters Prize 2016, says: “The
spaces the group was interested in responding to multi-layered, socially and
politically and are difficult to navigate. “There is a tension, a frustration
in our economics, class structure, you can’t separate them. We are working
together on this installation, not trying to define anything but rather piecing
together our shared interests.”
Batley has developed an upfront documentary filmic language and has been
focusing on the Athfield Architects 1970’s designed George Porter Towers as a
site of interest.
did a bicultural nation come to create such sites of inevitable violence and
alienation? Architecture becomes violence when it takes on the role of
dictator,” says Alex.
Hansen has built a pair of 600 watt vintage cinema sub-woofer
speakers that will play low-end bass noise capable of producing 20 Hz
interested in stretching time through audio and video projection,” he says.
“These sub-woofers are crazy powerful and allow sound to be driven at the
lowest human listening experience possible – it’s going to be uncomfortable for
some,” says Eugene.
Allen adds: “What these
artists are referencing is often difficult to talk about but what they feel
every day can be expressed in innovative and captivating ways.
“Through the use
of low end audio to create an uneasy experience and abstract architectural
video studies, this audio-visual installation conveys interesting metaphors for
current issues and questions we all face today.”
Kōhikohiko is the Māori term referring
to braided lightning and meaning to flash frequently, do irregularly (a bit
here and a bit there). It can also be used as a verb to convey piecemeal,
irregular and spasmodic. It is also a noun to recite genealogy in a selective
way by not following a single line of descent.
Opening Friday 6pm, 18 November 2016
Exhibition dates: 19 November - 10 December 2016
Toi Pōneke, Abel Smith Street, Wellington City