Publications

Lisa Reihana: Emissaries | Published on the occasion of the exhibition "Emissaries", New Zealand Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2017

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Lisa Reihana: Emissaries | Published on the occasion of the exhibition "Emissaries", New Zealand Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2017

75.00

Published by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, May 2017

290 x 230 mm, hardback, 144 pages, colour illustrations throughout

ISBN 978 0 864633 12 5 

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Lisa Reihana is an artist of “fearless imagination”. Her technically ambitious and poetically nuanced work draws on historical evidence, fictional narratives, mythology and kinship to disrupt time, truth, gender and representation.

Lisa Reihana: Emissaries presents her expansive project in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17), alongside new photo-based and sculptural works. Lisa Reihana: Emissaries, conceived as a meditation on ideas generated by cartographic endeavours and scientific exploration, unravels Enlightenment ideals and philosophy, the colonial impulse, and the distant gaze of power.

In Pursuit of Venus [infected] is a re-imagining of the Neo-classical French wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique, (1804–05). The designers of this commercially produced wallpaper referenced illustrations made on the voyages to the Pacific by Captain James Cook and Louis de Bougainville. Two centuries later, Reihana harnesses digital technologies to animate, activate and recast the original fable-like wallpaper, populating her immersive video panorama with invented and speculative narratives of encounter across Oceania and Europe. Challenging historical and contemporary stereotypes, the work returns the glare of imperialism in an investigative twist through the realms of space and time. 

Working at the forefront of contemporary practice, Reihana has helped forge the development of time-based art in Aotearoa New Zealand, and she continues experimenting across different media, including film, sound, photography, spatial design, live-action, costume and sculpture. Reihana’s art making is driven by a deep connection to the communities she works with, which informs her collaborative working method described as kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face).

Lisa Reihana: Emissaries will be presented at Tese dell’Isolotto, one of the oldest structures in the Arsenale di Venezia, and a space imbued with its own history of emissarial action.  http://www.nzatvenice.com