© Lisa Reihana, in Pursuit of Venus [infected] 2015–17. Installation view, John Curtin Gallery, Perth, Australia 2018. Photograph by Brad Coleman.
Born 1964 in New Zealand.
Inspired by the bucolic scenes of Dufour's 1804 wallpaper The Savages of the Pacific Sea, Lisa Reihana's work relentlessly reorients our view of colonial narratives. A Tahitian chief, a hula dancer, the death of the explorer Cook, a family scene, the rhythmic sound of a Tahitian Otea dance, go on and on in Lisa Reihana's hypnotic, immersive panoramic video.
In Pursuit of Venus [infected], highlights the unstoppable impregnation of one people on another as one seeks to dominate the other, such as the terrible diseases brought by settlers that devastated the indigenous nations of the Pacific Islands. Where previously the Maori were left on the periphery of the image, here the artist allows them to move freely through the work, thus neutralising any hierarchical visual rhetoric. Including both joyful and terrible scenes, this masterful piece, which took the artist over seven years to produce, is a response, two hundred years later, to the idyllic and Eurocentric vision of Dufour's tapestry.
After having practiced photography, Lisa Reihana has been interested in digital video experiments for several years. In Pursuit of Venus, which was first exhibited in 2015 at Auckland Art Gallery, is Lisa Reihana's most ambitious work and she represented New Zealand at the 2017 Venice Biennale and received a nomination for the 2016 Walters Prize.
Exhibition realised in partnership with Théâtre Garonne | Scène européenne – Toulouse.