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Metro Arts — Tuesday 22 February

Things to look at in Tāmaki this week.

Metro Arts — Tuesday 22 February

Feb 22, 2022 Arts


I’m Lana, the new-ish Arts Editor here at Metro and longstanding giver of arts related reckons. Welcome to the first ever Metro Arts, like Metro Eats but not.

Metro Arts is a weekly-ish newsletter straight to your inbox, letting you know my reckons & recommendations re art stuff in and around Tāmaki Makaurau. Being a quarterly magazine means that there are a lot of arts things that fall between our issues but that doesn’t mean that you should miss out on them. Metro Arts hopes to fill in some of the dead air.

We seem to be on the other side of the big cancellation, like the big sick except the death of all the things live artists have been working toward for the past year, which has been brutal to watch. Admittedly it is kind of awkward to be starting Metro Arts at a pretty down buzz time for creatives in this city. It’s been a real rough 2 years — and if you’re an artist yourself I don’t have to tell you that. But this time has reminded us, what artists already knew, just how vulnerable and severely underserved they have been since forever.

To deal with that a number of arts advocacy moves have emerged, most recently this includes Dignity And Money Now or D.A.M.N. (a pretty awesome acronym). The group initiated by Dominic Hoey, Cat Ruka, Tendai Mutambu, Jane Yonge, Amber Liberte, and Roy Irwin is a group of artists and art activists advocating for the value of the arts and ask that artists be treated with dignity and receive fair pay. I’m not fully sure what they are up to, but it’s very much watch this space.

All this to say it’s a wild world out there, with Covid not being the only thing artists and arts workers are facing at the moment.

I’m still working out how this Metro Arts thing will work, if you have any strong thoughts would love to hear them. Flick me an email at

Keep safe.

— Lana



Last week the first episode of Elephant in the Bedroom, a new podcast co-hosted by James Roque and Chye-Ling Huang which asks “taboo questions around sex, love and race” dropped, and I’ve gotta say I’m struggling with it. On the one hand I commend the vulnerability, on the other I struggle with the upholding of whiteness, race science, and unhelpful comparisons. The problem with Elephant in the Bedroom, as my friend Rosabel Tan commented, is that the central question, “should I end my relationship with my white partner” is the wrong question to be asking.

So much aroha for Ruby Reihana-Wilson, the show’s Māori producer (and friend), who was brought onto the second episode released today, to describe the gut punch in listening to the show’s obsession with whiteness. I know I’m not from the community that the work deals too first hand, but I am from one who feels the repercussions of the whiteness upheld in the series. I don’t know, I just want to say – do better? But you all should listen and make up your own mind.



While there is very little theatre or gigs on at the moment, visual arts remain open for those who are wanting to enjoy being with art in person and not with crowds. One show I’d recommend is Raro Boys and Friends now on at Mangere Arts Centre until March 26.

Also it’s your last chance to check out Ercan Cairns’ solo exhibition at Michael Dodds Gallery. I have a soft spot for large scale painting, and Cairns’ Basquiat-esque works have come to fill that gap. On now until February 26.

If you’re one of the bazillion people self isolating at home I definitely recommend the beautiful series Takeout Kids made by The Spinoff. I’ve been loving this live performance of Kelz Garage by SWIDT, and also just last night I watched Netflix’s Jeen-Yuhs, not sure where y’all sit on Kanye’s hectic vibe but I’m into it.

Also something to watch for is Wheke Fortress a new kind of gallery and meeting space for Māori Pasifika and Queer creatives run by Coco Solid and Tokerau Brown, which has been killing its crowd funding campaign — worth every buck IMO.

Poetry is a new thing for me, partly because I never felt like I had a secret tool to be able to understand it, but it’s growing on me with age like good wine and strong coffee. I have been working my way through Chris Tse’s latest collection of poetry Supermodel Minority and would highly recommend it.



Coming up this week:

Jade Townsend: Neke Moa
Thu 24 Feb — Sat 19 Mar

Yona Lee: An Arrangement for 5 Rooms
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki,
Sat 26 Feb — Sun 2 Oct

Ata koia! curated by James Tapsell-Kururangi
Te Tuhi,
Sun 27 Feb — Sun 8 May

Patricia Lockwood and Pip Adam in conversation about No One Is Talking About This
Aotearoa New Zealand Festival of the Arts (online),
Thu 3 March — Sun 3 April

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In the Autumn 2024 issue of Metro we celebrate the best of Tāmaki Makaurau — 100 great things about life in Auckland, including our favourite florist, furniture store, cocktail, basketball court, tree, make-out spot, influencer, and psychic. The issue also includes the Metro Wine Awards, the battle over music technology company Serato, the end of The Pantograph Punch, the Billy Apple archives, a visit to Armenia, viral indie musician Lontalius, the state of fine dining, and the time we bombed West Auckland to kill a moth. Plus restaurants, movies, politics, astrology, and more.

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