From the Creative New Zealand newsletter
The Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa has approved and is
pleased to announce Lisa Reihana as New Zealand’s artist for the 57th
Venice Biennale in 2017.
Reihana’s panoramic video in Pursuit of Venus [infected]
will travel to Venice. It will be presented at its immersive scale and
rendered to its full resolution, with additional scenes included. A new
series of photographic works will also be commissioned.
The Arts Council is also pleased to announce Rhana Devenport as the
curator for New Zealand’s presentation and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o
Tāmaki as a significant contributor to the project.
In Pursuit of Venus [infected] is a filmic re-imagining of the French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique.
In Neoclassical France, entrepreneur Joseph Dufour used the latest printing innovations to produce Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique
(1804), a sophisticated twenty panel scenic wallpaper. Mirroring a
widespread fascination with the Pacific voyages undertaken by Captain
Cook, de Bougainville and de la Perouse, its exotic themes referenced
popular illustrations of that time.
Two hundred years later, Lisa Reihana has employed twenty-first century digital technologies to animate Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique.
Enlivened with the sights and sounds of dance and cultural ceremonies, a
vast video panorama is populated by a myriad of people drawn from
across New Zealand and the Pacific.
Challenging historical and contemporary stereotypes, in Pursuit of Venus [infected]
returns the gaze of imperialism with a speculative twist that disrupts
notions of beauty, authenticity, history and myth. It is designed for
multi-channel projection to create an immersive cinematic experience.
Alastair Carruthers, Commissioner for the 2017 Venice Biennale, says “in Pursuit of Venus [infected]
has already captured a huge New Zealand audience and international
attention with its sensuous reimagining of people, place and time. In
Venice 2017 Lisa Reihana will present a further evolution of her vast
and beguiling vision, with new accompanying work. The exhibition will