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Artist talk: Lisa Reihana

Around the world and back again. Hear artist Lisa Reihana talk about researching and creating her panoramic digital artwork in Pursuit of Venus [infected]

  • When | Āhea Sat 26 Feb 2022, 2.00pm–3.30pm
  • Where | Ki hea
    Te Marae | Rongomaraeroa, Level 4
  • Cost | Te utu Free event

This talk will be NZSL interpreted, with seats reserved near the front for Deaf and Hard of Hearing attendees, please email accessibility@tepapa.govt.nz to reserve yours.

Join artist Lisa Reihana as she takes us behind the scenes of in Pursuit of Venus [infected], the panoramic video artwork currently on display at Te Papa.

Reihana will share insights into the process of researching and developing the artwork, which has been shown around the world. A remarkable technical feat, in Pursuit of Venus [infected] is the result of years of experimentation and collaboration with people drawn from across Aotearoa, Australia, the Pacific, and Europe.

Lisa Reihana’s vast digital artwork is a retort to the French scenic wallpaper, Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique, produced by Joseph Dufour in 1804. Reihana’s 21st-century artwork subverts the imperial gaze by defying historical and contemporary stereotypes, notions of beauty, authenticity, history, and myth.

Lisa Reihana is the 2022 Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts Artist in Focus and will be presenting a programme of free works across the Festival and region.

Lisa Reihana

Lisa Reihana (Ngāpuhi - Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tū-Te Auru) is a visual artist whose practice includes film, sculpture, costume and body adornment and photography. She works master beauty and meaning, examining how identity and history are represented, and exploring concepts of place and community.

Lisa has exhibited in major museums and galleries worldwide, including London’s Royal Academy (Oceania, 2018), Museum Van Loon in Amsterdam (Suspended Histories, 2013), Brooklyn Museum in New York (Global Feminisms, 2007), Te Papa Tongarewa and Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, and in 2017 Lisa Reihana represented Aotearoa New Zealand at the Venice Biennale with the project Emissaries where the celebrated video in Pursuit of Venus [infected] was a cornerstone work.

As well as holding a space in the world of contemporary art, Lisa is frequently involved in public and community arts. Her work often moves in the realms of fashion as a core member of the indigenous collective Pacific Sisters, and in through collaboration with international artists, such as luxury shoemaker Christian Louboutin. Since the 1990s she has significantly influenced the development of New Zealand contemporary art and contemporary Māori art. She was named an Arts Laureate by the Arts Foundation in 2014 and awarded the Te Tohu Toi Kē Te Waka Toi Maori Arts Innovation Award in 2015.

Lisa Reihana stands in front of the doors to Te Papa’s marae, made of blue glass with Māori motifs


Lisa Reihana, 2021. Photo by Anna Briggs, courtesy of the Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts

Still from a video featuring an illustrated coastal and mountainous landscape. In the foreground is an actor playing Captain Cook, a soldier, a Grandfather clock, a hut, and two Māori men


Lisa Reihana, in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (still), 2015-17, Ultra HD video. Image courtesy of Lisa Reihana