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Contrasts of past and future

Tue 26 Jan 2016 In: Events View at Wayback View at NDHA

Two deeply throughtful video works exploring aspects of what it is to be Samoan in New Zealand and fa'afafine in the modern world opened in a boutique exhibition last night, as a precursor to the Auckland Pride festival which officially kicks off in just over two weeks' time. Fa'aafa is a filmed piece by performance artist Pati Solomona Tyrell, starkly high-contrast black and white, which Tyrell describes as "an exploration of my identity, my culture, what it is to live in the Samoan diaspora, and the term 'Fafa'. It's about gender fluidity, about masculinity and femininity." The video is the first time Tyrell has filmed one of his performances in this way, most of his works are performed to live audiences only. While Fa'aafa looks inward and to the future, Tanu Gago's The Sound of the Ocean looks outward and to the past, to a time when "Pacific images were always created by someone else... it frustrates me that our realities have always been presented through other cultures' perspectives. It expresses resentment at how we are not in control." At last night's opening New Zealand born Gago explained that the 'Ocean' in the title is the soundscape of traditional life in Samoa contrasted with the sounds of urban New Zealand's Polynesian suburbs. "In the Islands the ocean's always there, its sounds and presence surrounds everyone. But I asked myself what is the soundscape of my life... it's motorway traffic, police sirens, aircraft overhead." The Sound of the Ocean and Fafa are presented on video screens in a darkened upstairs gallery of the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre at the Pah Homestead and will continue until February 28 as part of the Auckland Pride Festival. Jay Bennie - 26th January 2016    

Credit: Jay Bennie

First published: Tuesday, 26th January 2016 - 7:52am

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