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01 September 2019 —
17 November 2019

Moana Don’t Cry

Charlotte Graham, Whakawaikawa Moana/Acidic Oceans, 2017–19 (detail). Wall-based mirror units and text installation. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Charlotte Graham, Whakawaikawa Moana/Acidic Oceans, 2017–19 (detail). Wall-based mirror units and text installation. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Charlotte Graham, Whakawaikawa Moana/Acidic Oceans, 2017–19 (installation view). Wall-based mirror units and text installation. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Knitlab, Te Muri Waters, 2019 (install view). Suspended light sculptures knitted fabric of monofilament, copper wire and retroreflective ribbon interlaced with fibre-optic strands, macrocarpa and pōhutukawa housing and 50W colour-changing LED devices. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Knitlab, Te Muri Waters, 2019 (installation view). Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Knitlab, Te Muri Waters, 2019 (detail). Suspended light sculptures knitted fabric of monofilament, copper wire and retroreflective ribbon interlaced with fibre-optic strands, macrocarpa and pōhutukawa housing and 50W colour-changing LED devices. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Knitlab, Te Muri Waters, 2019 (install view). Suspended light sculptures knitted fabric of monofilament, copper wire and retroreflective ribbon interlaced with fibre-optic strands, macrocarpa and pōhutukawa housing and 50W colour-changing LED devices. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Knitlab, Te Muri Waters, 2019 (install view). Suspended light sculptures knitted fabric of monofilament, copper wire and retroreflective ribbon interlaced with fibre-optic strands, macrocarpa and pōhutukawa housing and 50W colour-changing LED devices. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Graeme Atkins, Alex Monteith, Natalie Robertson, with work by Kahurangiariki Smith and Aroha Yates-Smith. Ko te kongakonga pakohe—Mudstone crumbled into fragments, 2019 (install view). Video 14 mins 32 secs. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland, with support from Auckland University of Technology and University of Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Graeme Atkins, Alex Monteith, Natalie Robertson, with work by Kahurangiariki Smith and Aroha Yates-Smith. Te rerenga pōuri o nga parawhenua ki Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa, 2019 (install view). Multi-channel video installation. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland, with support from Auckland University of Technology and University of Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Graeme Atkins, Alex Monteith, Natalie Robertson, with work by Kahurangiariki Smith and Aroha Yates-Smith. Te rerenga o Waiorongomai ki uta, ki Waiapu ki tai—The journey of Waiorongomai inland to Waiapu at the coast, 2019 (install view). Four-channel video projection  16 mins 17 secs. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland, with support from Auckland University of Technology and University of Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Graeme Atkins, Alex Monteith, Natalie Robertson, with work by Kahurangiariki Smith and Aroha Yates-Smith. Te rerenga o Waiorongomai ki uta, ki Waiapu ki tai—The journey of Waiorongomai inland to Waiapu at the coast, 2019 (install view). Four-channel video projection  16 mins 17 secs. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland, with support from Auckland University of Technology and University of Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Graeme Atkins, Alex Monteith, Natalie Robertson, with work by Kahurangiariki Smith and Aroha Yates-Smith. Te rerenga o Waiorongomai ki uta, ki Waiapu ki tai—The journey of Waiorongomai inland to Waiapu at the coast, 2019 (install view). Four-channel video projection  16 mins 17 secs. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland, with support from Auckland University of Technology and University of Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Graeme Atkins, Alex Monteith, Natalie Robertson, with work by Kahurangiariki Smith and Aroha Yates-Smith. He Tangi Aroha—Mama Don’t Cry, 2019 (install view). A collaboration between Kahurangiariki Smith and Aroha Yates-Smith video 16 mins 17 secs. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland, with support from Auckland University of Technology and University of Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Graeme Atkins, Alex Monteith, Natalie Robertson, with work by Kahurangiariki Smith and Aroha Yates-Smith. Te rerenga o Waiorongomai ki uta, ki Waiapu ki tai—The journey of Waiorongomai inland to Waiapu at the coast, 2019 (install view). Four-channel video projection 16 mins 17 secs. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland, with support from Auckland University of Technology and University of Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett.
Graeme Atkins, Alex Monteith and Natalie Robertson. Graeme Atkins with Biddybid. Mangarara Stream, ‘Blue Slip, Barton’s Gully’, Waiōrongomai Valley production still from, Te rerenga o Waiorongomai ki uta, ki Waiapu ki tai—The journey of Waiorongomai inland to Waiapu at the coast, 2019. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Courtesy of the artists.
Tuan Andrew Nguyen, The Island, 2017 (film still). 2048 x 1080p, colour, 5.1 surround sound 42 mins. Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery.
Tuan Andrew Nguyen, The Island, 2017 (film still). 2048 x 1080p, colour, 5.1 surround sound. 42 mins. Courtesy of the artist and James Cohan Gallery.
Ioane Ioane, Moana Don’t Cry, 2019 performance ritual. By Ioane Ioane, Sila Ioane and Shannon Ioane costume design by Rosanna Raymond performed on 31 August 2019 during the opening of, Moana Don’t Cry. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Amy Weng.
Ioane Ioane, Moana Don’t Cry, 2019 performance ritual. By Ioane Ioane, Sila Ioane and Shannon Ioane costume design by Rosanna Raymond performed on 31 August 2019 during the opening of, Moana Don’t Cry. Commissioned by Te Tuhi, Auckland. Photo by Amy Weng.

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‘We sweat and cry salt water, so we know that the ocean is really in our blood’.
– Teresia Teaiwa

The exhibition Moana Don’t Cry approaches the ocean from a number of angles.

The Pacific is a vast liquid continent connecting hundreds of cultural groups with a robust spiritual thread: for indigenous islanders, Te Moana-Nui-a-Kiwa is an ancestral home that both sustains and provides them with a fluid identity, as it did for ancient civilisations.

However, daily media coverage of environmental emergency around the world inundates our lives with news about melting ice sheets and unmanageable levels of sea plastic pollution. We hear reports of coral bleaching and underwater fracking for gas and oil that threaten marine species. Alongside the impact of ocean acidification, we are made aware of rising water levels, which endanger the very existence of a few Pacific nations.

Trouble in the Pacific is not new; history tells us that the region underwent 1,054 nuclear tests performed by the USA and France between 1945 and 1992. Colonial notions of the Pacific as remote and isolated favoured it as a site for military projects in the name of security, with islands employed as strategic places for unnoticed tests.

From times immemorial, our oceans have been the stage of countless migrations, conquests and exile, as well as providing a battlefield for territorial combats, and lying as silent witnesses of the Middle Passage and other economic projects.

Faced with past and present threats to ocean life, the exhibition addresses the need to protect life as kaitiaki (guardians) with a duty of care for the planet entrusted to us. An ontological turn connected to indigenous spirituality and ways of doing becomes paramount, to counter narratives of loss articulated by the colonial logic of dispossession.

Across the planet, coastal communities acknowledge the ocean as a nurturing entity connected to femininity and motherhood, the fundamental source of life. This metaphor doubles as a scientific fact, given that the oceans not only feed us but also produce most of the oxygen we breathe. Within the moana, motherhood and breathing collapse into the fundamental agents necessary for the perpetuation of the species, calling us to radical action through relational political ecologies.

Download

→ Moana Don’t Cry catalogue

 

Listen

Charlotte Graham and Mary Sewell in conversation

Te Tuhi is temporarily closed under Alert Level 3.

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