Lisa Reihana

Marakihau

Marakihau by Lisa Reihana

Artwork Detail

Rere ai te awa o Te Waihorotiu ki raro iho i te huarahi e pātata ana ki te Toi o Tāmaki, ā, koia rā te kāinga o Horotiu, te taniwha o taua takiwā. Ko te marakihau he āhua e whakaatu ai i te taniwha, ā, ko te tikanga, heke iho i te hope he tinana ika, ā, he māhunga tangata, he arero pokoruarua e ngote ai i te ika. I runga i te mōhio ehara te whakairo i tā te wahine i ngā wā o mua, hangaia ā-tango whakaahua e Lisa Reihana tōna tauira ake o te marakihau. I roto i te hanganga toi a Reihana, kei te whētero iho te arero roa o te marakihau, kei te māwe whakarunga te rimurimu ki runga ake i tōna pane. Kua ūhia katoatia ngā ringaringa ki ngā tauira whakairo e whakaata ai i te kaupapa mana wahine a Reihana i roto i ana hoahoa ‘whakairo’ whakaahua. E ai ki a ia:

I kapohia e au ngā hangarau o te rautau 21 nā te mea kāore i te pāngia e ngā tikanga tuku iho; nā reira i ara mai te hātepe tango whakaahua – he kairīwhi mā te rākau. Ko te rorohiko taku whao whakairo. Kitea ai e te pononga o te tikanga tuku iho tēnei tū mahi hei mahi whakapātaritari heoi anō ehara i te mea he āhuatanga hou tonu.

Waihorotiu Stream runs beneath the road near Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and is the home of Horotiu, the local taniwha (supernatural being). Marakihau, the carved interpretation of a taniwha, are traditionally depicted with a fishlike body below the waist and human heads with long hollow tongues – used to suck up fish. Conscious that Māori women do not traditionally carve, Lisa Reihana creates her own version of Marakihau in photographic form. In Reihana’s dramatic reimagining, the creature’s long tongue protrudes down while a tangle of kelp rises above her head. The arms are covered in carved patterns, a nod to Reihana’s feminist agenda to construct her own photographic ‘carvings’. She comments:

I seized upon 21st-century technologies because they sit outside traditional rules, the photographic process came from there, it replaces the wood. I use the computer as my carving tool. Traditionalists might see this as a provocative act, but there are precedents.

Title
Marakihau
Artist/creator
Production date
2001
Medium
colour photographic print on aluminium
Dimensions
1990 x 990 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 2002
Accession no
2002/3/3
Copyright
Copying restrictions apply
Department
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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