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JH

One Mind with Multiple Bodies (2)

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Charlotte Drayton, It must be nice to work outside on a day like today, 2016, pregrown kapuka (griselinia) hedges, crushed shell, trellis, paint (alabastaer White), concret pavers, irrigation system, commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Charlotte Drayton, It must be nice to work outside on a day like today, 2016, pregrown kapuka (griselinia) hedges, crushed shell, trellis, paint (alabastaer White), concret pavers, irrigation system, commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Charlotte Drayton, It must be nice to work outside on a day like today, 2016, pregrown kapuka (griselinia) hedges, crushed shell, trellis, paint (alabastaer White), concret pavers, irrigation system, commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Charlotte Drayton, It must be nice to work outside on a day like today, 2016, pregrown kapuka (griselinia) hedges, crushed shell, trellis, paint (alabastaer White), concret pavers, irrigation system, commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Rangituhia Hollis, Oho Ake, 2016, 3 channel colour HD video, 6.2 channel audio.10.08 mins looped. Commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Rangituhia Hollis, Oho Ake, 2016, 3 channel colour HD video, 6.2 channel audio.10.08 mins looped. Commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Rangituhia Hollis, Oho Ake, 2016, 3 channel colour HD video, 6.2 channel audio.10.08 mins looped. Commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Rangituhia Hollis, Oho Ake, 2016, 3 channel colour HD video, 6.2 channel audio.10.08 mins looped. Commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Rangituhia Hollis, Oho Ake, 2016, 3 channel colour HD video, 6.2 channel audio.10.08 mins looped. Commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Rangituhia Hollis, Oho Ake, 2016, 3 channel colour HD video, 6.2 channel audio.10.08 mins looped. Commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Rangituhia Hollis, Oho Ake, 2016, 3 channel colour HD video, 6.2 channel audio.10.08 mins looped. Commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett Rangituhia Hollis, Oho Ake, 2016, 3 channel colour HD video, 6.2 channel audio.10.08 mins looped. Commissioned by Te Tuhi. Photo: Sam Hartnett

These striking modifications have a minimalist, Zen, and highly meditative ambience, though the work is motivated by an interest in the décor and trends of landscaping and garden design. Its salient features reference certain elements Drayton has discovered locally in the Pakuranga region. With the rounded arch doorway in the trellis and the airy diagonal grid there is a vaguely Spanish or faux Moorish feel, especially with its spaciousness, bright sunlight, cast shadows and lack of vines or creepers - all made incongruous by the brown brick walls of the original Te Tuhi building.

Pakuranga

 

Alex Monteith, Caroline McQuarrie, Monique Jansen, Rangituhia Hollis, Charlotte Drayton
The Hive Hums with Many Minds: Part One
Curated by Bruce E. Philips


12 March - 24 May 2016

The two contributions to this show from Rangituhia Hollis and Charlotte Drayton have a slightly different inflection from the works of Monteith, McQuarrie and Jansen. More to do with ‘culture’ than ‘nature’ - though there is a sizable cultural component in the others as well.

Drayton’s installation is a major transformation of the outside courtyard space that in the past has been used by artists like Bruce Barber and Sally J. Morgan. This time the ground is covered with a thick layer of crushed shell, a path of square concrete paving stones is installed along one edge, and a high trellis positioned along another, painted an Alabaster White. There is also in the centre a transplanted L-shaped hedge made of kapuka (griselinia), intended as a sort of magnet to entice you into bodily exploring the space.

These striking modifications have a minimalist, Zen, and highly meditative ambience (like a raked gravel garden), though the work is motivated by an interest in the décor and trends of landscaping (its history and ideational transmission) and garden design. Its salient features reference certain elements Drayton has discovered locally (and commercially available) in the Pakuranga region. With the rounded arch doorway in the trellis and the airy diagonal grid there is a vaguely Spanish or faux Moorish feel, especially with its spaciousness, bright sunlight, cast shadows and lack of vines or creepers - all made incongruous by the brown brick walls of the original Te Tuhi building. Slightly humorous and ironic, it nevertheless has an appealing uplifting delicacy within its sparseness, a very pleasant space that can’t be denied.

The work Oho Ake (Wake Up) that Rangituhia Hollis presents is in contrast, dark, noisy and frenetic: a three channel projection on a long wall. It looks at traumatising life in the suburbs, and features in its animation a giant moving creature - consisting of a cluster of flax baskets jammed with traditional Maori and Pacific Island weapons and tools - crawling insectlike up high-rise or weatherboard walls and scuttling over rooftops. It represents local resistance to the overwhelming forces of modernist architecture and city planning, the many forms of globalisation initiated by western culture.

Exploiting a surround sound set-up with musical collaborators Shannon Coulomb and Daniel Campbell-McDonald, Hollis’ film (made with the help of students at Manurewa High) uses a sequence featuring various locations, such as an apartment block in Auckland’s CBD he had as an art student, the lounge of his current Orakei home in suburban Auckland, fifties weatherboard houses in rural locations, long night-time drives in a Ford Cortina, the back seat of that car, and a blurry, brightly coloured, inner body experience with multiple voices and electronic beats. It’s highly complex in its layering.

Hollis’s clambering creature, a robotic, spiny, multi-appendaged spider/weta, appears in several of these scenarios and is a symbol for indigenous independence and pride. It refutes modernity and its evolving forms of industrialisation, but perhaps is futile, having little long-term impact - being continually kept at bay, on the outside surface. Visually impressive but…

John Hurrell

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Rangituhia Hollis, 11:31 p.m. 10 May, 2016

But...for rebuttal in ones' own language. Clarification. When an ocean crashes against our backs. We feel it and we get pushed along...I stop thinking when the wave hits...after that I gather myself and get ready again.

This is Māua, Māua e - Here there’s no beautiful harmonics heard singing “Tātau, Tātau e” out here. You’re singing to yourself. & there’s no place for “he iwi tahi tātau” bullsh.t here, never was. It’s us and them. This is the time of Mātau - the ‘we but not you’ of impersonal pronouns. Actually there’s not much out here, naught but Annabelle and I hiding from view. It’s just us looking deep into where the pilgrims circled the wagons. We’d been trying to get there for years. Been waiting for a way to climb up from the last place we climbed to. But each step, each up step to places higher than before is met with the same gravity. Everyone, everywhere is tenuously balanced on the cusp of falling, or already fallen. We aint middle class but we’re practicing. Got the first step down, which is to fear that this life’ll all end with a thud! & another brown couple’ll hit the dirt. Brain says “Get back to your feet”. Rising I check to see if I left an impression in the earth. Brain says “You will always get back up, what else you gonna do”. So I stand and shake off of my clothes. Annabelle’s already up and running off into the horizon. A good time to get out if ever there was one. I take a deep breath and inhale the dust that’s been kicked up. Fine nebulaic particles swirling round - the fluid stuff of universe making and carcinogenic tumor growing. Fine fine dust. I recline, to smoke the casing air of roadside seating. A deep inhale and I taste the chill on my tongue of those frozen out. Roll around those words of defeat in my mouth long enough that I might turn them into weapons. Out here what grows more and more the focus, of mind is the warmth of each other. & Why? Eh! Et! To cling thoughts to every bit of heat, makes its increase inevitable. Hell! It works for demons, works for fear, then why not basic needs - energy invested & expended - to keep the ever fleeting energy in & by will alone produce heat.

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