Many types of art just be. They exist and life happens around it. Performance how ever requires an immediate engagement with an audience, it’s existence is temporary.
Dan’s organic srdnsnd involved the artist meeting a Grindr date for a drink at Verona with the intention of hooking up. Srdnsnd explored the resulting sexual tension. There was no stage for the performance, it moved through out space, transcending gallery and performance conventions. The performers were spatially present within the audience, and the audience acted aware-fully ignorant. PDA forces you to look away while staring through peripheral vision, it’s fascinating and uncomfortable all at the same time. Social conventions stipulate staring is inappropriate. When he entered the room, people gestured toward their presence while appearing to remain in conversation.
I met one of my first boy friends from Facebook and while to this day I tell people we met through friends it resulted in a 5 year relationship. To say he knew who I was before he met me would be a lie. With the power of the screen we have an innate ability to edit ourselves, our interests, our character and most importantly our flaws. In a technology laden world where an infant swipes an iPhone before they crawl, the importance of our online persona is at its utmost. Dan highlights our cultural reliance on social media, through the use of “gay ‘social networking’ forums”. How we meet people has changed and so has how we interact with them. By bringing what one might assume as an intimate moment of intense passion into a public arena, makes and initially public call out for a mate that becomes private, public again.
While Dan forced us to see what is not always visible, Hana created an intimate moment which in it’s silence forcibly garnered it’s audience’s attention. Unlike the fluid performance of ‘srdnsnd’ the entrance and exit of the artist was very obvious. Hana walked into the space which had been set up with cinder blocks, and an ordered array of collected fauna which appeared incredibly foreign on the grey painted concrete floors. She patted dirt onto the cinder blocks. She undressed leaving on a tee shirt which said ‘He Wahine He Taonga” (All woman are Teasures). The end result of Hana’s ‘collection cultures/the urban maori: an ethnography’ was her body laying on top of the cinder blocks, her face looked pained. Her body lay for us to scrutinise and contemplate.
Hana’s tee shirt was created for a recent cervical cancer campaign along with one targeted at Pacific communities saying ‘Pearl of the Pacific’. This use of Te Reo Maori for a marketing campaign targeting the high number of Maori and Pacific women with Cervical cancer shows a logical strategy of using culture as a way to connect with communities. Performance gets criticised for its reliance on shock. Hana’s teeshirt diverted this, making us conscious of the words on her body. The performance was nuanced with questions of representation. What does it mean present oneself or what does it mean when presentation is an external responsibility. Hana’s body was the taonga, F U Z Z Y V I B E S was the institution and so perhaps I was the unaware collector, Hana embodied the displacement that occurs through external representation.
Within a single space both works seem bipolar and yet both attempt to tend to notions of representation and identity.
One Night Stand at F U Z Z Y V I B E S existed in the work of Hana Aoake and Dan Sanders.
3486 feet away
19 years old
6’2” 154 lbs
An identity is constructed from dramatised assumptions of censored information, predominantly physical detail. From an insecure supposition a desire to meet in the flesh rises with an expectation of sexual/emotional engagement, motivating a hunt for the correct idealised reciprocent of a specifically filtered online personality. In the real, a storm of blurred negotiation of truths and falsities arise; external / internal / online.
The performance exploits an online “hook-up”, with the performer meeting the participant through predominantly gay ‘social networking’ application, Grindr. Sexual/emotional engagements are becoming increasingly accessible with the rise of ‘social networking’ applications such as Tinder, Grindr, Scruff, OkCupid, Brenda etc, however remain seemingly blanketed by a generalised public premise that real life “hook-ups” embody a truth that the online lacks. The performance provocatively reveals this construct within a public arena, as the performer and participant promiscuously engage in foreplay building up to complete sexual tension, ignorantly masked by the fickleness of their relationship. In acknowledgement of a fashioned digital identity, more familiar and accessible than the persona itself, the performers iPhone sits unlocked within the gallery in a vulnerable position of complete exposure, acting as a bridge of truth between the audience/performer/participant/online.
I’m interested in ritualistic process. Using each of these objects established relationships to previous works, but were specifically tied to family histories and their complimentary disparity. My great grandfather had a tailors shop where starbucks used to be and each of the plants I have affinity to from knowledge about them being passed down through the women on the maori side of my family. I’m also interested in the urbanization (hence conrete) and subsequent commodification and fetishisation of Maori artifacts and culture (hence trolley & body & body & trolley within the context of the actions).
Pushing that trolley down K Road felt like a religious procession and curating those plants was a very methodical process also. All the plants I used are of significance to me. Kawakawa and hebes obviously have healing properties, Pohutakawa trees are tapu and my favourtie trees and my Maori grandmother was a weaver. I’m interested in plants and the biophilia concept because learning and engaging with native plants has for a long time been the only means to which I can interact with being Maori. Cultural dislocation and the complexity of post colonial identities are the main I guess ‘themes’ behind most of the work I have been making this year.