Lisa Reihana | Cinemania

‘Cinemania’ is the first Australian survey of Aotearoa New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana, presented at Campbelltown Arts Centre from 12 January to 29 March 2018

Featuring three decades of video and photographic works that reveal the full spectrum of Reihana’s oeuvre, the exhibition charts the artist’s ongoing preoccupation with the complexities of cultural identity, unpacking ideas surrounding cultural mythologies, imperialism and the politics of representation.

The survey includes early experimental works in digital video such as Wog Features, 1990, a single channel film that addresses sexist and racist distortions of cultural history, revealing the power of images and words in perpetuating (mis)identity. The futuristic film Fantastic Egg, 2002, presents a dystopian imagining of the implications of technological development, while Pelt, 2009, confronts viewers with a series of uncanny photographs staging hyperreal female subjects in icy otherworldly spaces. Poised between states of human and non-human, these hybrid women hover in the gap between life and death. Also on display is the colossal panoramic video In Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015—17, which premiered at the 57th Venice Biennale. Almost ten years in the making, this work reimagines and animates the French colonial scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique, 1804—1805, from a trans-Pacific perspective, incorporating scenes from Campbelltown’s local Dharawal community. A vast landscape populated by indigenous Pacific peoples and British explorers recalibrates colonial history by challenging the European gaze, disrupting notions of beauty, authenticity, history and myth.

Together, the subjects of Reihana’s alternate worlds inhabit liminal spaces in which boundaries between past, present, and future collapse, carving open a space for identities to transgress everyday expectations of cultural and social norms.

Lisa Reihana | Cinemania
12 January – 29 March 2018
Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown

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