Jasmine Togo-Brisby

Open City (In Suspension)

Artwork Detail

Jasmine Togo-Brisby is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice delves into the cultural memory and shared histories of the Pacific slave trade. Open City (In Suspension), 2022, is a site-specific architectural intervention that appropriates the pressed-tin ceiling panels for which the Sydney-based Wunderlich family were renowned, and which are preserved as heritage features in civic buildings across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Behind their ornate façade lies a fraught history that has particular resonance for Togo-Brisby: her great-great grandparents were abducted in Vanuatu and taken to Sydney, where they were acquired by the Wunderlich family. Open City (In Suspension) takes the form of a ship, visualising the horrific experience of Pacific peoples enslaved in the holds of ships on three-month journeys across the Pacific, often lying looking up at the underside of the deck. Looking up at this installation, we are met with the collective presence of the artist, her mother Christine and daughter Eden memorialised in silhouette. Affirming an enduring matrilineal descent, these silhouettes are accompanied by reoccurring motifs that speak to the family’s history, such as crows, sugar cane and ships.

Open City (In Suspension)
Jasmine Togo-Brisby
Production date
sculpture/vacuum formed moulds made from styrene and finished with Resene acrylic paint (Black Jaquar)
9600 x 3600 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased with support from Andrew and Jenny Smith, Rose Dunn and other donors of the Auckland Art Gallery Foundation, 2022
Accession no
Copying restrictions apply
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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