I often tire of trying to get [mainstream] media makers to recognise the importance of the artists and exhibitions that take place at Fresh Gallery Otara. For example, in six years of operation, the nationally funded Pacific Island affairs television programme, Tagata Pasifika, has done less than five stories on Pacific artists and events at Fresh.
In 2011, I collaborated with Tanu Gago to make a series of videos about Pacific artists and exhibitions; we started to make our own media. I’m really proud of what Tanu has created and will be making more in 2012. Here’s a video he made on Angela Tiatia’s 2011 exhibition, Foreign Objects…
Tanu Gago’s solo exhibition “Avanoa o Tama” opened at Fresh Gallery Otara last night. One of the images from his new body of work has been printed as a limited edition A3 poster, available from 2-31 March.
AVANOA O TAMA is Tanu Gago’s second solo exhibition being held at Fresh Gallery Otara from 2-31 March 2012.
“Avanoa O Tama is a photographic series that looks at the cultural assignment of gender identity in regard to social and cultural expectation amongst men of Pacific diaspora. Concerned with representation and codes of gender this work explores a spectrum of masculine identity among literal and conceptual cultural spaces. The conceptual spaces refer to the grey areas where gender and sexuality tread an ambiguous line between the typical and the unexpected.
These spaces are often occupied by Fa’afafine and gay Pacific males. In this instance this space is shared with other heterosexual Polynesian and Melanesian males. As an artist I am interested to see what is exposed about our public perceptions of gender and sexuality when these codes of gender deviate from cultural and social norms and how this reflects on our own cultural sensibilities and notions of tolerance and understanding.”
Tanu Gago is a South Auckland-based visual artist practising in the field of photography, short film and video installation. He holds a Bachelor of Screen and Performing Arts from Unitec (2009) and held his first solo exhibition, YOU LOVE MY FRESH at Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts, Auckland in 2010.
Tanu’s photographic series, Jerry the Fa’afafine (2011), developed for the exhibition Mana Takatāpui: Taera Tāne at City Gallery Wellington, was subsequently purchased for the Manukau Art Collection (Auckland Council) and is on permanent display at Mangere Arts Centre – Ngā Tohu o Uenuku.
In April, Tanu features in a group exhibition of Samoan artists at the University of La Verne (California) and in July, he features in an exhibition of Pacific artists at the Auckland Art Gallery.
I’ma come off like a real trite asshole dear internets, especially with the real revolutions raging all around us… but I just need to get something off my chest.
As @yousefkaid eloquently pointed out to me on the Twitter:
“Dude, they stole yo shit wholesale. I was really pissed. Da revolution will be ?commercialized”
I blame Gavras not MIA for rolling up to my little raw materials mine and taking his Bagger 288 to my claim. I have no qualms with an other brown girl tipping her hoodie to this stuff from her neon-vehicle or radifying riding sidesaddle or winking from behind her dirty-khaleej mirrorshade aviators. I’ve made videos featuring these things before in evidence here,
My colleague Nigel Borell is a fellow curator and the co-editor of SOUTH. His man bag is always by his side. Every now and then I’ve picked it up and marveled at how heavy it is. This is what this curator has with him at all times: Work phone, personal phone (iPhone), camera, rain jacket, unchecked Lotto tickets, 5 USB memory sticks, keys, 2 McDonald’s plastic spoons, business cards, breath mints, hair product, coin purse, sunblock, 4 pens and green highlighter, New Zealand passport, meds, lint brush, name tags, a badge that says Wakey Wakey Wakey, miniature Givenchy cologne, exhibition and event paraphernalia (for days), a watch, sunglass case, sunglass lens cleaner, miniature screwdriver set, hair ties, lip balm, moisteriser, headphones, a David Dallas CD… and a wallet.