St Paul st Gallery AUT

Past Exhibitions

Two Oceans at Once

Ayesha Green, Ruth Ige, Rozana Lee, Nicole Lim, Jane Chang Mi, Talia Smith, Vaimaila Urale, Layne Waerea, and Yonel Watene

Curated by Cameron Ah Loo-Matamua and Charlotte Huddleston

15 February 2019 - 17 May 2019

Jane Chang Mi, Hānaiakamalama, 2014. Still from single-channel video, 16 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist.


Two Oceans at Once: roomsheet (15 February - 18 April); roomsheet (18 April - 17 May); accompanying publication by Yonel Watene


Two Oceans at Once is named from a phrase in a story by Uruguayan journalist and poet Eduardo Galeano. In the story ‘Americans’, from the book Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone, Galeano retells the commonly known history of the world in 600 short episodes. Here it is:

Official history has it that Vasco Núñez de Balboa was the first man to see, from a summit in Panama, two oceans at once. Were the natives blind?

Who first gave names to corn and potatoes and tomatoes and chocolate and the mountains and rivers of America? Hernán Cortés? Francisco Pizarro? Were the natives mute?

The Pilgrims on the Mayflower heard Him: God said America was the promised land. Were the natives deaf?

Later on, the grandchildren of the Pilgrims seized the name and everything else. Now they are the Americans. And those of us who live in the other Americas, who are we?

At face value, it is an account of discovery, naming and renaming as part of historic global exploration in search of ‘new’ territories and resources. The ‘two oceans’ in Galeano’s story are the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. In the context of Aotearoa, Two Oceans at Once takes on the impetus of retelling, where 2018 was the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage, and 2019 holds the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Antarctic Treaty and the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Captain James Cook—an arrival that, like Vasco Núñez de Balboa’s, involved naming.

In the retelling of past events as history, dominant sociocultural constructions privilege linear and chronological retelling in a single voice. But within Galeano’s account, as with the events of Cook’s arrival, there are multiple positions from which history can be told. In ‘Americans’, Galeano questions whose voice is heard and remembered in accounts of history. As an exhibition, Two Oceans at Once holds multiple narratives. These are narratives of arrivals, departures, naming, giving voice, being heard, listening, co-habitation, time, place, memory, knowledge, language and love. Recognising that there is no singular past, present or future, the exhibition looks to reorient historical time within the real experiences of communities.


Ayesha Green's work was realised with the support of Creative New Zealand.

CNZ


foyer, vinyl, doors

Nicole Lim, design for Two Oceans at Once, 2019. Vinyl. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

blue wall, art, gallery

From left: Ruth Ige, Parallel worlds and the mundane: The Seer, 2019; Mid left: Jane Chang Mi, Te Tiriti o Atātika, 2015–ongoing; Mid right: Yonel Watene, Untitled Margo Glantz Painting (2wizards, redeye, starz, bluey), 2018–19; Right: Rozana Lee, Adzan 2018. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

room, hanging fabric, art, gallery

From left: Jane Chang Mi, (See Reverse Side.), 2017; Right: Rozana Lee, The Dreams We Share of Freedom and Love, 2019. Back: Yonel Watene, Untitled flower (pink), 2018. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

window, vinyl, princess

Ayesha Green, Rauru, 2019. Digital print on vinyl. Made with support from Creative New Zealand. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

installation, art, paintings

Front: Yonel Watene, permanent sculpture, the Detroit series third and final installment (in order: D is 4 Detroit, 8 Mile and Zug Island and Fighting Island), 2015–18. Back: Ruth Ige, Parallel worlds and the mundane, 2019. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

moon, projection, street view

Jane Chang Mi, Hānaiakamalama, 2014. Single-channel video, silent, 16.00 minutes. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

blue wall, treaty, paper

Jane Chang Mi, Te Tiriti o Atātika, 2015–ongoing. Translated into te reo Māori by Eru Kapa-Kingi. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

paper along shelf, treaty, blue wall

Jane Chang Mi, Te Tiriti o Atātika, 2015–ongoing. Translated into te reo Māori by Eru Kapa-Kingi. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

two denim paintings along back wall, shelf with paper

From left: Yonel Watene, Untitled Margo Glantz Painting (2faces, 2wizards), 2018–19; Right: Jane Chang Mi, Te Tiriti o Atātika, 2015–ongoing. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

Projection of bay, tarp held by metal poles

Rozana Lee, Adzan, 2018. Single-channel video with sound, 5.21 minutes, looped, projected onto 2004 tsunami-soiled fabric, stainless steel posts. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

detail of painting

Ruth Ige, Parallel worlds and the mundane: The Seer, 2019. Acrylic on canvas. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

two paintings, blue wall

Ruth Ige, Parallel worlds and the mundane: Visions, 2018. Acrylic on canvas; Standing There, 2018. Acrylic on linen Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

series of paintings by Ruth Ige on white wall

Ruth Ige, Parallel worlds and the mundane (Untitled 3, The twins, Untitled, Untitled 2, Sitting, Clarity), 2019. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

hanging fabric, maps and drawings on back wall

Front: Rozana Lee, The Dreams We Share of Freedom and Love, 2019. Back: Jane Chang Mi, (See Reverse Side.), 2017. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

two maps on wall

Cactus Dome 2017. Google-sourced archival inkjet print; NGA Nautical Chart 81544: Bikini Atoll (Marshall Islands), 2017. Digital print from American Nautical Services. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

Drawings of archival records, soldier, group of people sitting below tree

Jane Chang Mi, (See Reverse Side.): 701202, 2017. Drawings from the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

fabric hanging in gallery

Rozana Lee, The Dreams We Share of Freedom and Love, 2019. Melted wax drawing and fabric dye on cotton, bamboo hanging frames. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

framed photograph on wall in gallery

Back: Yonel Watene, Untitled flower (pink), 2018. 35mm photograph, silver halide print on metallic paper, framed, photographed and printed, edition of 1, plus 1 artist proof. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

denim artwork, hanging in window. Photograph taken from street view

Yonel Watene, Untitled (installation) 2019. Seven days, seven problems, 2018, oil on denim; Smoko, 2018 oil on denim; Untitled (dancers), 2018-2019, spray paint, oil, vintage photograph (from Mexico City) and dye on treated denim; mixed media drawing/s on 780gsm paper, mixed media on unstretched denim, fabric and dropcloth; clothesline; A-Frame clothes hanger. Photo courtesy of Sam Hartnett.

hongi, wood, installation in window space

Yonel Watene, not yet titled from the Hongi series, 2019. Materials, left to right: Macrocarpa, ash, and Danish oil; Redwood, ash, and raw linseed oil; Pine, ash, raw linseed oil, turpentine, and oil paint; Salvaged Tawa, ash, raw linseed oil, carnauba wax, paint, and spray enamel; Macrocarpa, ash, raw linseed oil, and teak oil; Pine, ash, raw linseed oil, and oil paint (viridian); Swamp kauri, ash, raw linseed oil, and carnauba wax. Photo courtesy of artsdiary.co.nz.

sand installation along window

Vaimaila Urale, Motu motu, 2019. Sand. Photo courtesy of artsdiary.co.nz.

house, flag, roadsite

Layne Waerea, Māori Love Hotel, 2019. Artist's post on ST PAUL St Gallery's Instagram account as part of Two Oceans at Once.