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Friday, November 6, 2015

The Pursuit of Venus (infected)

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 be irresistible.”

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