Wild Once More, curated by Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington-based artist Christopher Ulutupu, presents six moving-image artworks by a group of queer artists working in Aotearoa New Zealand. The exhibition draws upon ideas generated during Robbie Handcock’s CIRCUIT podcast, “Popular Glory”, where he interviewed artists who employ queerness as identity and use strategies of collaboration and collegiality. Wild Once More acts as a survey of moving-image art by queer artists in Aotearoa, exploring artistic contributions to representation, language, intimacy and desire. Of the six works, five have been commissioned by Te Tuhi for this exhibition.
Aliyah Winter’s restoration fibre song (2022) opens the exhibition with an interactive artwork in the form of a cyclical hypertext ‘game’ that explores ideas of agency, recovery, healing and the metaphysical. This is followed by Sorawit Songsataya’s Comfort zone (2021), which examines the distance between ourselves and what we define as nature through the central imagery of kōtuku, or white heron, and their nesting site on the banks of the Waitangiroto stream in South Westland of New Zealand. Laura Duffy’s what lives in the lacunae? completes the triad of these works with a nocturnal imagining of queer creatures and deities.
The other three video works in the exhibition examine the politics of the subject-viewer relationship embedded in the format of film. Daniel John Corbett Sanders’ documentary-style video Queen of the round table (2022) follows a queer activist in Tāmaki Makaurau, drawing attention to the ethics of storytelling by exploring how agency can be given to the subjects depicted. Connor Fitzgerald’s Love Letter (2022) is a personal work that was filmed over a weekend spent at an Airbnb with her friends, acting as an ode to those that have significantly influenced her life. Finally, Neihana Gordon-Stables’ video You are a star (2022) completes the artist’s Queer praxis trilogy, highlighting queer homelessness in Aotearoa and championing the humour and resilience of young people who face systemic injustice.
→ Wild Once More essay by Christopher Ulutupu
→ List of works
→ Vernarcular – Robbie Handcock on Wild Once More
About the artists
Aliyah Winter is an artist working across photography, video and performance. Her research-based practice often draws on historical material, with a particular focus on language, voice and the body.
Connor Fitzgerald/x~Angel~x is an artist and writer. Her recent artworks focus on poetic storytelling through short and feature-length films. They are interested in the importance of collaboration within the creative process. A constant inquiry within her artistic practice is themself, her transness, and the way they interact with her surroundings. Their work has been exhibited at Artspace Aotearoa, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; play_station, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington; Window Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; and Blue Oyster Project Space, Ōtepoti Dunedin. Connor is also a facilitator at play_station space.
Daniel John Corbett Sanders
Daniel John Corbett Sanders is a Pākehā artist and curator of Dutch and Ashkenazi descent. Through film and photography he examines
About the artists the relationship between LGBTQ+ citizens and political economics, and reimagining documentary aesthetics to deconstruct the concept of “queer space”. Sanders currently works as the assistant curator at Artspace Aotearoa, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Acknowledging the lack of representation of LGBTQ+ artists in Aotearoa, in 2020 Sanders founded Parasite, an artist-run gallery prioritising the exhibition of LGBTQ+ artists.
Laura Duffy is an artist working between video, sculpture and installation, exploring queer pleasure or joy derived from failure, error and disgust. Her work has been shown at The Physics Room, Ōtautahi Christchurch; ACMI, Melbourne; Parasite, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; and The Dowse Art + Museum, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington.
Neihana Gordon-Stables (Ngāti Kuri) is a Tākatapui, Tangata ira tane whose artistic practice critically examines dominant cultural narratives and the current lived experience of himself and his communities. His current work explores queer Pasifika coming-of-age stories and the desire, gossip and love that comes with it. His work has been shown at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival, Germany.
Sorawit Songsataya’s artistic practice encompasses sculpture, ceramic, textile, moving-image and 3D animation. Drawing from Thai belief systems and ways this might intersect with Te Ao Māori and pop culture, Songsataya explores geological and culturally significant histories which redefine both subjectivity and ecology. Their works have featured in exhibitions throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond. They are the recipient of multiple awards and residencies, including with Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Ngāmotu New Plymouth; Enjoy Contemporary Art Space, Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington; McCahon House, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland; and the International Artists Studio Program, Stockholm. In 2022, Songsataya is the Frances Hodgkins Fellow at the University of Otago, Ōtepoti Dunedin.
About Christopher Ulutupu
Christopher Ulutupu is an artist of Samoan, Niuean and German descent currently based in Pōneke Wellington. His video practice and performance work explores ideas around landscape, photography and the construction of colonial narratives. Ulutupu has held exhibitions and screenings at Cement Fondu, Sydney; Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū; Dunedin Public Art Gallery; Jhana Millers, Pōneke Wellington; the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany; Enjoy, Pōneke Wellington; and SCAPE Public Art, Ōtautahi Christchurch.