Louisa Afoa | A Pool is not the Ocean

Tuesday September 26 2017 to Sunday November 26 2017
Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin

Oceania is vast, Oceania is expanding, Oceania is hospitable and generous, Oceania is humanity rising from the depths of brine and regions of fire deeper still, Oceania is us. We are the sea, we are the ocean, we must wake up to this ancient truth and together use it to overturn all hegemonic views that aim ultimately to confine us again, physically and psychologically, in the tiny spaces which we have resisted accepting as our sole appointed place, and from which we have recently liberated ourselves. We must not allow anyone to belittle us again, and take away our freedom.[1]

Prompted by her own experiences moving from her family home in Papakura to Torbay on Auckland’s North Shore, Louisa Afoa’s ongoing project A Pool is not the Ocean considers the agency of brown bodies in predominantly white spaces. In this iteration, the shift between these two suburban locations is emphasised, offering a layered perspective on feelings of marginalisation and their relation to specific sites. Utilising self-portraiture and time-based media, these works offer a defiant response to prejudice, misconceptions and racism.

Building on ideas of vastness and sovereignty posited by Epeli Hau’ofa in his text Our Sea of Islands, Afoa’s video works confront the inherently political site of the indigenous body, asserting her presence and her autonomy in the world.

Date(s) - 26/09/2017 - 26/11/2017
All Day