Latai Taumoepeau, Deep Communion sung in minor (ArchipelaGO, THIS IS NOT A DRILL), 2024 / performance at “Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania” at Ocean Space, Venice, 2024 / Photo: Giacomo Cosua
Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania
Mar 23 – Oct 13, 2024
Ocean Space
Venice, Italy

TBA21–Academy announces Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania, a new exhibition comprising two new site-specific commissions by Indigenous practitioners from the Pacific, Latai Taumoepeau and Elisapeta Hinemoa Heta. The exhibition is curated by Bougainville-born artist Taloi Havini, returning to Ocean Space after her 2021 solo exhibition. Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania platforms artists and communities who live and work in the vast and diverse region of islands and atolls in the southern hemisphere.

The Pacific Islands are one of the regions most impacted by the damaging effects of climate change, and their Indigenous leaders and communities have led the call for more study and greater awareness of the ensuing crises for decades. Peoples of the Pacific span over a quarter of the planet with ancestral relations that extend from Taiwan, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon’s, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji to Palau, Hawai’i in the north to the southernmost island of Aotearoa, to Rapa Nui in the east and to the west coast of the Australian continent.

Despite the formation of many Pacific Island Countries since 1962, the legacies of colonisation still affect Oceanic communities today – socially and economically through the ongoing exploitation of their natural resources. In a time of climate and environmental crisis Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania seeks to subvert this extractive trajectory through art, oratory, song, genealogy, performance, embodied knowledge, and Oceanic cosmological belief systems.

Drawing together performance, sculpture, poetry, and movement, Havini’s curatorial vision is guided by an ancestral call and response method. Havini uses this as a means to seek solidarity and kinship in times of uncertainty. Real threats to life call for the need to slow down the clock on extraction and counter this with reverence for life of the Ocean. For the new commissions, Havini has invited artist Latai Taumoepeau to present a call with the work Deep Communion sung in minor (ArchipelaGO, THIS IS NOT A DRILL) and Wāhine architect Elisapeta Hinemoa Heta to respond to that call with The Body of Wainuiātea.

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