Ocean Memories

Louisa Afoa
Edith Amituanai
Darcell Apelu
Grace Iwashita-Taylor
Raymond Sagapolutele
Kereama Taepa
Pati Solomona Tyrell

October 17 - November 14 2021
Kunsthalle Faust | Hannover

With the exhibition OCEAN MEMORIES, the Kunstverein Kunsthalle Hannover is showing a selection of contemporary photography, moving images and 3D prints by artists from Oceania. The Pacific Ocean - Te Moananui-a-Kiwa - is the largest populated habitat on earth. The participating artists consider themselves indigenous to the South Pacific and live and work in Aotearoa New Zealand.

In collaboration with the artists, curator Cora-Allan Wickliffe developed the concept of the exhibition as a journey, a journey into contemporary art, a journey shaped by an involvement with their indigenous history. This tradition is the starting point for the exhibition, which tells of their memories of the stories, dances, navigation and crafts of their ancestors. They explore their own history and stories and take their position within the dialogue with contemporary art. In this way, they counteract the narrative tendencies to put Pacific communities into romanticising pigeonholes.

The works in the exhibition OCEAN MEMORIES depict the tension between traditional and contemporary art and culture. Their works open up a dialogue of reflection and discussion on colonialism and racism as well as gender and diversity. The exhibition invites visitors to experience indigenous knowledge and to understand how and that culture is remembered.

By perpetuating the memory of our ancestors through stories, crafts, dance and navigation, the vast space of the Pacific Ocean continues to produce generations of artists. They consistently begin their journey in contemporary art by exploring their own culturally rich histories. This provides building blocks for understanding where they are in the landscape of visual art with their historical connection of Pacific communities.

OCEAN MEMORIES provides a space for a group of indigenous artists living in Aotearoa to tell their personal and ancestral stories of the Pacific Ocean through photography, video and objects. The exhibition in the heart of Europe offers them the opportunity to share their history and stories with a new audience. Modern worldviews and technologies, constantly evolving through the next generation, embrace traditional methods and invite us to follow the stories that spring from the Great Ocean.

Cora-Allan Wickliffe, curator

Ocean Memories