Beatriz Santiago Muñoz: Their movements retain the light of the sun
13 Apr 2017 - 26 May 2017
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, That which identifies them like the eye of the Cyclops (production still), 2016. Three-channel digital video, sound, colour; 10:11 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist.
“Is this the way language is supposed to work – the same reflection for everyone?” asks one of the women in Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s film, That which identifies them like the eye of the cyclops (2016). “Is it a language only to be understood among us?” The limits of language, that there are ethical, political, and material obstacles to what is able to be seen are points returned to across Santiago Muñoz’s films. These are narratives constructed in collaboration with the protagonists. They include a group of women—political dissidents, teachers, farmers, artists—who are involved in political transformation in the artist’s homeland, Puerto Rico; and Pablo Díaz Cuadrado, who went to the mountains as part of a commune in 1968 and stayed, monitoring the growth and decomposition of everything around him, breeding bees and poultry and preparing for the future.
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz is a filmmaker based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her work combines observation and documentary conventions with elements of fiction, improvisation and imagined reality. She has always worked with people she knows, and over a long duration, an approach Santiago Muñoz has referred to as “an ethnography of what is possible to imagine together.” The work focuses on the relationships between communities and the land, history and infrastructure. In each of these films, Santiago Muñoz works with a process of ‘recognition’: of daily work, collectivity and autonomy, and different ways of knowing and imagining places.
Ngahuia Harrison: E takarae ki te muri i raro mata raranga mai kaewa ki te rangi ko au ki raro whakaaro rangi ai*
13 Apr 2017 - 26 May 2017
Ngahuia Harrison, Dead Leaves, 2011. Digital Print.
Ngahuia Harrison’s exhibition explores the Treaty settlement process from a specific locale: Ngāti Rehua, a hapū of Ngātiwai iwi, of which she is a part. The project responds to two urgencies within this process. The first is imposed by the Government’s need to ‘finish everything off’, resolving settlements within a time limit. While Harrison’s whānau, hapū and iwi work under the pressure of legal deadlines, generations become further detached from tūrangawaewae, reo kāinga and tikanga kāinga. The second urgency is the iwi’s own, in relation to to kaitiakitanga of mātauranga o te Ngātiwai. With the loss of many of their kaumatua and kuia who, with their knowledge of Te Ao Māori, are the kaiārahi for whānau, the stresses of numerous Waitangi Urgency Hearings take on additional significance. The ongoing struggle as Ngātiwai carve a space that is tika in Aotearoa, and throughout these negotiations, is further complicated by having to work within entrenched colonial systems, language, and power structures.
The patere that is the project's title was recited by Harrison’s tipuna Hone Paama at the Māori Land Court hearings determining the tenure of Hauturu (Little Barrier Island). Taking its lead, rather than straightforward documentation of the settlement process, the project draws on the whakapapa of the rohe, Te Tai Tokerau and Aotea, and of Harrison’s whānau, hapū and iwi, toward an installation in which multiple ideas of time are at play in relation to the settlement. The exhibition includes large-scale photographic works, an audio recording, and Pūriri benches for sitting and listening. Harrison says, “My intention is that the installation is a space with the wide-open space for contemplative thinking often not possible within the settlement process.”