May 31, 2022 Metro Arts
Manuia le vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa, happy Sāmoan language week!
Okay, so last week I spoke too soon, and just as Metro Arts was flying into your inbox, I was taken down by the rona. There was no theatre or art for me, which is very sad. However, I am now one day away from getting out of isolation, and it’s actually pretty good timing with a lot going on this week!
Opening this week is Taste of Pasifika, which takes the best of the Pasifika Festival (RIP Western Springs era the GOAT) we once knew and repackages them as a winter delight. One arts highlight, is the exhibition Moonwalkerz including Ema Tavola, Leilani Kake, Raymond Sagapolutele and curated by Nigel Borell. It’s only for a couple days at The Cloud so don’t miss it. I am also keen to head out West to Te Uru to see Otherwise-image-worlds which opens on the 4th, and then out East to see Te Tuhi’s new exhibition season which opens on 12 June, with two new shows Elsewhere and nowhere else, curated by Vera Mey and The house is full, curated by Dilohana Lekamge. Special shout out to Gabi Lardies one of the Next Page cadets who wrote this week’s Reckon on Antje Barke’s show Needs at Oddly Projects. The show is on for the rest of the week so go check it out.
I am also relieved to be coming out of isolation because this week Flying Fetu has its first Writer’s Lab and I’m running a workshop on self-editing. As part of the lab, all of the writers involved will showcase their work for one evening only at Basement Theatre. You can buy tickets here now.
Happy long weekend!
Got some arts scoop? LMK firstname.lastname@example.org.
Antje Barke at Oddly Projects
216 Dominion Road, Mt Eden
22 May – 4 June 2022
Reckon by Gabi Lardies, Next Page Cadet (and future reviewer *fingers crossed*)
Antje Barke’s exhibition Needs at artist-run space Oddly, is an austere install. A steel shelf shines in the centre of a stark white room. Yet those familiar with Oddly will notice alterations. Its floor has been painted the same durable white as the walls. Up in the ceiling, two-panel lights have been removed. In one of their cavities, Barke has stuffed two paper lantern lampshades, flat in their packaging. The other is painted sage green, and both are sealed off with panels of clear perspex.
The shelving is salvaged from the closed Elam Library. But it isn’t as it once was – grey with a patina of use and heavy with books. Barke stripped their coating, leaving them shiny and empty. When we look at the shelves, our own faces peer back – enough to take a reflective Instagram selfie. No longer holders of knowledge, the shelves have become decorative. In a precise gesture, Barke manages to both critique and utilise their aestheticization.
It is easy to miss the interventions in the ceiling, and their significance is not easily accessed. It would pay to know that Barke worked at the Ponsonby shop, Everyday Needs. A luxury shop, where a napkin can put you back $159. The sage green ceiling cavity is a perfect match to the shop’s walls. The lanterns in the other cavity are a bit of a joke, Barke says. When she worked there, the centrepiece of the shop was a “Double Bubble Pendant”, costing about $1500 – the staff would joke you could just stack two $20 Wah Lee lampshades instead.
It is in the interplay between the two worlds that the strength of the installation lies. There are essentialist questions of arts survival. Barke no longer works in retail, her studio is adjacent to Samoa House Library, opened by the community when the Elam library was closed. It is here that she gruellingly stripped the shelves by hand, ending up with RSI in both wrists. Needs builds on a Barke’s emerging practice: thoughtful starkness and considered gestures. It distils narratives into a tight formal composition which lends poetry to industrial materials
I have harped on about Silo Theatre’s production of seven methods of killing kylie jenner by Jasmine Lee-Jones for a very long time and it’s finally here. The show opens at Basement Theatre on Saturday and goes until the 18th. In our upcoming issue of Metro, one of my favourite theatre writers Kate Prior spoke with the show’s actors Batanai Mashingaidze and Grace Bentley-Tsibuah; and director Keagan Carr Fransch. Here’s a little preview:
The flipside of this internet-inspired humour is how the dopamine hits of instant online response and amplification play to our more narcissistic tendencies too. As director Carr-Fransch notes, “Twitter gives you the illusion of importance. It invites you to engage in a mob mentality that can be joyful about something, but also really ravenous. And it keys into that primal thing of both community and competition at the same time.”
Mashingaidze isn’t on Twitter — the polarising discussions don’t sit well with her. “I think that the Twitter space kind of makes you feel like you’re having a nuanced conversation, but there’s actually no nuance,” she says. “There’s a right or wrong. And if you’re not agreeing with the majority, your comment will either disappear or someone will call you out and then you’ll have a whole lot of people being like no, wrong, wrong, wrong”.
seven methods of killing kylie jenner is on at Basement Theatre from 2 June to 18 June. Buy your tickets here.
Documentary Edge International Film Festival 2022
Virtual Festival: 1 Jun – 10 Jul
Auckland Festival: 15 – 19 & 24 June at The Capitol Cinema, 15 – 19 June at Silky Otter and 22 – 26 June at The Civic
seven methods of killing kylie jenner
Basement Theatre, Lowers Greys Ave
2 — 18 Jun
Featuring Ema Tavola, Leilani Kake, Raymond Sagapolutele. Curated by Nigel Borell.
4 June — 6 June
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Juliet Carpenter, Tanu Gago, Ary Jansen and Sorawit Songsataya
4 June – 4 September
How to be a Bad Muslim and Other Essays by Mohamed Hassan
Flying Fetu Showcase
Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival 2022
8 — 12 June
Featuring Dr Hinemoa Elder, Kiri Nathan, Lisa Reihana, Qiane Matu-Sipu and Stacey Morrison, and hosted by Miriama Kamo.
Scenes from a Yellow Peril
Auckland Theatre Company
ASB Waterfront Theatre
21 Jun – 3 July
MĀUI by Fresh Movement
Presented by Pacific Dance Festival & Auckland Live
Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea – Te Pokapū | Aotea Centre
Thu 23 June, 7pm