The best artwork at the Biennale...[it] deserves to be recognised as one of the key artworks of recent years.

— The Sunday Times (UK)

This incredible work has travelled to London, San Francisco, Estonia, Taipei and further, but never to Wellington – until now.

in Pursuit of Venus [infected] will open for a special extended Festival season as part of Lisa's time with us as the Artist in Focus for the 2022 Festival.

Lisa Reihana’s in Pursuit of Venus [infected] is a retort to the French scenic wallpaper, Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique produced by Joseph Dufour in 1804.

Dufours’ original wallpaper reflected a widespread fascination with the Pacific voyages undertaken by Captain Cook, de Bougainville and de la Perouse.

200 years later in Aotearoa, Lisa Reihana employs 21st century digital technologies to bring the scenic wallpaper to life and challenge its Eurocentric narrative.

The final realisation of in Pursuit of Venus [infected] makes visible the historical narratives notably absent from the original wallpaper. Enlivened with the sights and sounds of dance and cultural ceremonies, the vast video panorama is populated by people drawn from across Aotearoa, Australia, the Pacific and Europe.

in Pursuit of Venus [infected] subverts the imperial gaze by defying historical and contemporary stereotypes, notions of beauty, authenticity, history and myth.

This free exhibition is a must-do art experience and runs from October to April throughout the day.

There is an artist talk with Lisa Reihana on Saturday 26 February at Te Papa, Marae, Level 4, 2-3.30pm.

Lisa Reihana is the 2022 Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts Artist in Focus and will be presenting a programme of free works across the Festival and region.

He whakaaturanga tēnei nā Lisa Reihana

Ko te ngako o te whakaaturanga nei, he whakaahua tawhito, ko ‘Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique’ te ingoa, nā te tangata Wiwī nei nā Joseph Dufour i tā i te tau 1804. Ko te whakaaahua, ko te tūtakitanga o ngā iwi pākehā ki ngā iwi o Te-Moana-nui-a-Kiwa.

Hei tā Lisa, he whakamahi i ngā hangarau o tēnei rautau, e ora mai anō te whakaahua nei, anō nei he kiriata. Ahakoa te ātaahua o ngā kōrero a Joseph Dufour mō tāna whakaahua, he tino rerekē ngā whakaaro o Lisa Reihana, ko tēnei whakaaturanga te kaiwhakaputa i aua whakaaro.

He mea ruku tēnei whakaaturanga ki ngā hītoria, i te tirohanga o ngā iwi taketake, kīhei i kitea ki ngā hītoria a te pākehā. Ko te mutunga iho, he whakaaturanga whakahihiko i te hinengaro.

He kaupapa kore utu tēnei, me haere.


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