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12 August 2018 —
11 November 2018

From where I stand, my eye will send a light to you in the North

John Akomfrah, Tropikos, 2016 (installation view). Single channel colour video, 5.1 sound 36 mins 41 secs. Smoking Dogs Films; courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
John Akomfrah, Tropikos, 2016 (installation view). Single channel colour video, 5.1 sound 36 mins 41 secs. Smoking Dogs Films; courtesy Lisson Gallery. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
John Akomfrah, Tropikos, 2016 (video still). Single channel colour video, 5.1 sound 36 mins 41 secs. Smoking Dogs Films; courtesy Lisson Gallery.
John Akomfrah, Tropikos, 2016 (video still). Single channel colour video, 5.1 sound 36 mins 41 secs. Smoking Dogs Films; courtesy Lisson Gallery.
John Akomfrah, Tropikos, 2016 (video still). Single channel colour video, 5.1 sound 36 mins 41 secs. Smoking Dogs Films; courtesy Lisson Gallery.
Kiluanji Kia Henda, Redefining the Power III (Homem Novo/New Man series with Miguel Prince), 2011 (installation view). Triptych photography printed on fine art paper, courtesy of the artist. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Otobong Nkanga, Social Consequences I, 2009. Social Consequences II, 2009. Filtered memories 1977-1981, 2009 (installation view). From the booklet ‘No Be Today Story O’ lithographic prints. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Otobong Nkanga, Social Consequences II: Choices we make, 2009. Social Consequences II: Constructivism, 2009 lithographic prints. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Otobong Nkanga, Social Consequences II: The Overload – Projectiles – Piercing Pressure – Hostage – Wastescape – The overflow, 2009. Lithographic prints. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Otobong Nkanga, Social Consequences II, 2009 (installation view). Lithographic prints. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Otobong Nkanga, Social Consequences I: Limits of Mapping, 2009. Drawing, round stickers, acrylic on paper. Courtesy of the Artist and Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam. © Otobong Nkanga.
Otobong Nkanga, Social Consequences II: Seize all you can, 2009. Drawing, round stickers, acrylic on paper. Courtesy of the Artist and Lumen Travo Gallery, Amsterdam. © Otobong Nkanga.
Siliga David Setoga, This Land of Plenty, 2018 (installation view). 3 light boxes. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Sweet Jesus!, 2018 (installation view). Unrefined cane sugar & resin. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Courtesy of the artist and Page Blackie Gallery. Photo by Sam Harnett.
Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Sweet Jesus!, 2018 (detail). Unrefined cane sugar & resin. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Courtesy of the artist and Page Blackie Gallery. Photo by Sam Harnett.
Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Recruits: unknown, 2017. Kanaka converts: full immersion, 2017. Kanaka women in the sugar cane: Hambledon plantation, 2017. Triptych photography, Collodion on glass. Courtesy of the artist and Page Blackie Gallery. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Kanaka converts: full immersion, 2017. Collodion on glass. Courtesy of the artist and Page Blackie Gallery. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Recruits: unknown, 2017 (detail). Triptych photography, Collodion on glass. Courtesy of the artist and Page Blackie Gallery. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
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Sarah Munro, Trade Item, 2014-2018. Unbleached calico, cloth, thread. Courtesy of the artist private collection, on behalf of Page Blackie Gallery. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Jian Jun Xi, Empire, 2018 (installation view). Red, blue and white tarpaulin, steel. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Jian Jun Xi, Empire, 2018 (detail). Red, blue and white tarpaulin, steel. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Regina José Galindo, Tierra (Earth), 2013 (video still). Courtesy of the artist.
Runo Lagomarsino, If You Don’t Know What the South Is, It’s Simply Because you are From the North (poster version), 2009 (installation view). Stack of posters. Courtesy the artist, Francisca Minini, Milano, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo and Nils Staerk, Copenhagen. Photo by Sam Hartnett.

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This exhibition takes its title from artist Otobong Nkanga’s performance piece Diaoptasia, presented at Tate Modern, London, in 2015. Instead of departing from a theme, the exhibition’s foundations are laid from a selection of works on paper by Nkanga, which provided ground for other artists’ works to address the need to challenge Eurocentric historical narratives.

Nkanga’s prints from the series Social Consequences engage with a number of issues through graphically sparse depictions of human bodies and natural resources caught in dystopian entanglements. Her work originates in the observation of stone and minerals to shed light on the contradictions of wealth-producing economies and their restrictive access to gains. Drawing eloquent parallels between minerals and language, Nkanga’s works depict humans that appear to be connected by tools through processes of fracturing, cutting and carving out, evoking language’s constant metamorphosis. Moreover, her analysis of minerals as a metonymy for society shows us that we are made of a great variety of elements that react to pressure, heat and other physical forces.

This exhibition encompasses works by international and local artists dealing with a number of poignant subjects in an attempt to shed light over the multiple manifestations of our contemporary ills as seen from the geopolitical South. Their insightful works remind us how the emergence of imperial capitalism in the early 16th century led the way to the relentless extraction of raw materials that has continued to the present day. They signal how such intense exploration of natural resources has unleashed what we have come to acknowledge as a migration and climate emergency, generating perpetual economic and human crises whose substrate all but hide the colonial wounds inflicted in the past.

In the same manner that dominant narratives have instigated a partial reading of human history to build a canonical version of reality, it can also be argued that the history of art is biased. Since the idea of Modernity was coined, ways of thinking about high and low art have been largely determined by historical conditioning grounded in a binary model of conquerors and oppressed; educated and unqualified; masters and slaves; powerful and disenfranchised; explorers and providers; civilised and primitive.

By bringing to Aotearoa works from all corners of the world, the exhibiting artists invite us to share in numerous knowledge systems and histories which, as light emanating from their eyes, can help illuminate our path.

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Press

→ Southern Lights – EyeContact
→ From where I stand – Un Magazine

The gallery is closed for install from 29 January 2023.

Our next exhibition Who can think, what can think curated by Bruce E. Phillips will open 18 February 2023.

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