Lisa Reihana: in Pursuit of Venus [infected]

Lisa Reihana: in Pursuit of Venus [infected]
Lisa Reihana
in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (still), 2015
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
gift of the Patrons of Auckland Art Gallery, 2014

Exhibition Details

This exhibition registers the world premiere of one of the most ambitious screen-based projects from Aotearoa New Zealand, from one of the country's most admired artists. In 1804, Joseph Dufour created Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique, a sophisticated 20-panel scenic wallpaper whose exotic subject matter referenced popular illustrations of the times and mirrored a widespread fascination with Captain Cook and de la Perouse Pacific voyages. Two hundred years later Lisa Reihana reanimates this popular wallpaper as a panoramic video spanning a width of 26 metres.

While Dufour's work models Enlightenment beliefs of harmony amidst mankind, Reihana's version includes encounters between Polynesians and Europeans which acknowledge the nuances and complexities of cultural identities and colonisation. Stereotypes about other cultures and representation that developed during those times and since are challenged, and the gaze of imperialism is returned with a speculative twist that disrupts notions of beauty, authenticity, history and myth.

See a recent reproduction of part of the original Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique wallpaper in Printing the Pacific.

in Pursuit of Venus website


Articles, links, reviews and talks:

Lisa Reihana: Close encounters of the Pacific kind – New Zealand Herald

An interview with Lisa Reihana – Circuit

A conversation with Lisa Reihana – OCULA

Outlasting the Gee-Whizz Factor – Mark Amery, The Big Idea

Reihana's Infected Pursuit of Venus – John Hurrell, EyeContact

Curated by
Rhana Devenport
Level 2
Free entry

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in Pursuit of Venus [infected]
in Pursuit of Venus [infected]

Lisa Reihana

Production date
single-channel video, UltraHD, colour, 7.1 sound
Size (h x w)
1hrs 4min
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of the Patrons of the Auckland Art Gallery, 2014
Accession no