Lisa Reihana,  in Pursuit of Venus [infected] , 2015-2017

Lisa Reihana, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015-2017

in Pursuit of Venus [infected]

Lisa Reihana
Art Gallery of Ontario

Curated by Dr. Julie Nagam

September 21, 2019 to March 29, 2020
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
317 Dundas St W

Friday, October 25, 2019 
6:00 pm: Lisa Reihana in Conversation with Julie Nagam
Baillie Court, Art Gallery of Ontario
Book your FREE ticket through the AGO website.

imagineNATIVE and the Art Gallery of Ontario are honoured to be co-organizing Lisa Reihana’s final realization in Pursuit of Venus [infected], a sixty-four minute, multi-channel projection immersive experience, curated by Dr. Julie Nagam. In 2013, imagineNATIVE presented one of the first iterations of this work at A Space Gallery curated by Dr. Julie Nagam. We are ecstatic to be involved in bringing this work back during the Festival and to feature a conversation between curator Dr. Julie Nagam and artist Lisa Reihana at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Over the past five hundred years, the colonial imagination has continuously placed Indigenous bodies into pleasing, romantic and noble positions with total disregard for this gaze that debilitates Indigenous relationships to the body, sovereignty and self-determination. in Pursuit of Venus [infected] engages with colonial nineteenth century wallpaper Les Sauvages de la mer Pacifique, which claims to be historical, nevertheless it harvested information from different time periods and relocated these bodies into fictional Pacific landscapes. Reihana has activated this wallpaper by bringing historical scenes alive with breathtaking precision and cultural knowledge. This multi-channel installation begins to articulate the relationship Māori and Pacific Indigenous people have with their cultural knowledge and space. Each person on the screen resists the static colonial misrepresentations of the past and present – encounters shared by Indigenous people across the globe. 

Lisa Reihana is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice spans film, sculpture, costume and body adornment, text and photography. Since the 1990s she has significantly influenced the development of contemporary art and contemporary Māori art in Aotearoa New Zealand. Reihana represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2017 with the large scale video installation in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17). The work is currently on view in the AGO’s J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art and has been shown around the world and garnered widespread critical acclaim. 

Dr. Julie Nagam is a Canadian Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Collaboration and Digital Media and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Winnipeg. She was the former Chair of the History of Indigenous Arts of North America a joint appointment with the Winnipeg Art Gallery. In 2013 she curated Lisa Rehiana's new media installation, in Pursuit of Venus as part of imagineNATIVE Film + New Media Festival. Her scholarship, curatorial and artistic practice has been featured nationally and internationally. Dr. Nagam is the Concordia University and Massey University (NZ) Scholar in Residence for 2018/19 and is building an Indigenous Research Centre of Collaborative and Digital Media Labs in Winnipeg, Canada. 

For more detailed information on the exhibition, artist and curator please visit the AGO website.

Organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival

Supported by: