Presented by CIRCUIT in association with Pataka Art + Museum, Porirua
23/24 October 2020
Welcome to AURA 2020: Sovereign Pacific / Pacific Sovereigns.
This year's AURA Festival of Moving Images presents a focussed dialogue between 5 new artist works and a 1 day academic symposium.
Both projects have been curated by our international curator-at-large David Teh, and are presented by CIRCUIT in partnership with Pātaka Art + Museum and with support from Creative New Zealand.
AURA 2020 seeks to explore how sovereignty is inscribed in art – on page, on screen, in space, on bodies, and in the natural world. Is it altered by contemporary media? Which histories does it invoke, and which does it counter? How is artistic sovereignty being recalibrated by our mounting global crises?
David Teh is a curator and Associate Professor at the National University of Singapore, specialising in Southeast Asian contemporary art. David's previous curatorial projects include Returns, a project for the 12th Gwangju Biennale (2018), Misfits: Pages from a Loose-leaf Modernity (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2017) and Unreal Asia (55. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, 2009). Due to the limitations imposed by Covid 19, David will participate in AURA 2020 via Zoom.
With so much of 2020 made uncertain by the global pandemic we are grateful to be able to present this years edition of AURA. We hope AURA visitors will attend both the screening and the symposium, and take part in the discussions to follow.
Finally, a huge thanks to our partners Pātaka Art + Museum for their collaboration in presenting this project.
See you at AURA 2020.
CIRCUIT / AURA
AURA EventsScreening: CIRCUIT Artist Cinema Commissions 2020
Symposium: Sovereign Pacific / Pacific Sovereigns
Venue: Pātaka Art + Museum, Porirua
IMAGE: Production Still, Alex Monteith, CIRCUIT Artist Cinema Commission, Wai whaka tai / Marawhara Stream, Te Piha (2020)
Sovereign Pacific / Pacific Sovereigns
Presented by CIRCUIT in association with Pātaka Art + Museum, Porirua. Convened by David Teh (Singapore) Keynote by Dr. Carl Mika (Aotearoa)
with panels and presentations from;
Dr. Greg Dvorak (Japan), Very Mey, Sorawit Songsataya, Rangituhia Hollis, Rachel Rakena, Lana Lopesi, Ana Iti, David Chesworth (Aust).
What is sovereignty? Is it innate and universal, or something to be contested and won, in a given place and time? The word suggests an autonomy that is at once individual and collective, yet sovereignty may be more than political, and more than strictly human. Indeed, as our modernity culminates in mounting global crises, we are compelled to recalibrate all our rights and freedoms in favour of others, of animate and inanimate things, of the planet itself.
Art may be sovereign too; in moving images, sovereignty may be implicit (e.g., in the psycho-politics of montage, the gaze, etc) or asserted explicitly, as in ethno-fiction, or theories of third (or fourth) cinema; while in today’s digital media, both the grammar of images and the visuality of text are more material than ever. What does the new immediacy of self-expression mean for sovereignty?
This symposium, co-hosted by CIRCUIT and Pātaka Art + Museum, will explore how sovereignty is inscribed in art – on page, on screen, in space, on bodies, and in the natural world. Is it altered by contemporary media? Which histories does it invoke, and which does it counter? The 1-day programme will bring together artists and thinkers in an interdisciplinary dialogue with the 2020 Circuit Artist Cinema commissions, and special guest presenters from outside Aotearoa New Zealand.
9.45am: Welcome: Reuben Friend (Pataka) / Mark Williams (CIRCUIT)
10:00am: Keynote: Dr Carl Mika (NZ) - The Maori more-than-human: Rethinking sovereignty
11.15am-12:15pm: David Teh (Sing) –The Sovereign artist in South East Asia
1.00pm-2.00pm – Sovereign practices in Aotearoa: three artists - Sorawit Songasataya (NZ), Rachel Rakena (NZ), Rangituhia Hollis (NZ). Followed by conversation with chair Vera May
2.00 – 3.00pm – Expanded Territories, Expanded Practices - Greg Dvorak (Japan) / David Teh (Sing) / Lana Lopesi (NZ)
3.15pm-4.00: Speaking through the Archive - Andrew Clifford (chair), David Chesworth (Aust), Ana Iti (NZ), Jasmine Togo-Brisby (NZ)
4.00pm Wrap Up
Artist Cinema Commissions 2020
Curated by David Teh
The premiere of CIRCUIT’s 2020 Artist Cinema Commissions include 5 new works by 5 artists from from Aotearoa and the Philippines.
Curated by Singapore-based academic and curator David Teh, each artist was given two concepts as prompts from which to create a new work.
The first idea, Pacific Concretism, seeks to explore 'errant modernisms' - artworks at junctions between traditional forms of visual art and other forms such as experimental literature. A second idea, Sovereignty, asks; what would a Sovereign Pacific artwork look like outside of traditional Western ideas of influence and form?
The resulting five works were completed amidst the complexities of Covid 19, but also engage with the scale of history that extends before colonisation, and sometimes into the realm of science fiction.
Rangituhia Hollis’ work is a kaleidoscopic animation that begins with the voice of a lone driver observing the passage of the moon in the night sky. From a personal and poetic beginning, the film moves to surreal, vivid scenes of molecular forms and a domestic interior flooded by water.
Ana Iti reworks two 19th century editions of the Māori language newspaper Te Pīpīwharauroa to build an experimental narrative which explores ideas around language and understanding.
Alex Monteith has responded to the brief with an ambitious essay film. Set between Moana-nui-a-Kiwa and the Atlantic, it explore neo-colonial issues from commercial ocean exploration to local foreshore management at Piha.
Sione Monu’s video presents a subtly different everyday world,
imagined as if Tonga had never encountered influence from the West. In this alternate universe crystals are the main export/import in Tonga economy, and the main signifier of this alternate world is costume.
The fifth artist in the programme, Gary-Ross Pastrana, is a Filipino artist based in Manila. Pastrana’s work takes known objects and subjects them to processes which reinvent their identity, materiality and image.
David Teh will introduce the screening via Zoom, from his home in Singapore. David Teh first visited Aotearoa in 2018 where he was researching Aotearoa artists for possible inclusion in international projects. He has been working remotely with CIRCUIT since 2019. He has also curated the accompanying Symposium, which expands upon the ideas raised in the Commission programme with a range of artist and academic speakers.
Commissioned annually by CIRCUIT since 2015, the Artist Cinema Commissions ask contemporary artists who normally work in the gallery to make a work for cinema. The resulting works have toured to London Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival and art galleries across Aotearoa, opening up new audiences for local artists.
All the works in the 2020 programme were made in the context of Covid 19, and address urgent questions about political change, the redrawing of public and private spaces, and imagined futures.
Friday 23 October
Pātaka Art + Museum, Porirua
New works by:
IMAGE: Rangituhia Hollis, Across the face of the moon (2020). Commissioned by CIRCUIT with the support of Creative New Zealand