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Techno Maori - Maori Art in the Digital Age

Press Release

Techno Maori - Maori Art in the Digital Age

City Gallery Wellington & Pataka Porirua Museum of arts and cultures Until 2 Dec 2001

'While we are still our ancestor, today we cast a multifaceted shadow' - Darcy Nicholas, contemporary Maori artist & General Manager Cultural Services, Porirua City Council.

From the looming animated 'Maui' in Rongotai Lomas' digital film, to Lisa Reihana's funky video soundtracks and Keri Whaitiri's aural internet postcards from New York, technology has arrived in full force for a new exhibition called Techno Maori. The exhibition, running at two venues in the Wellington region, shows that contemporary Maori artists are not only adept at using new technology in their art practise - they are also at the forefront on a world stage: "The digital age isn't...about the world coming to Maori; it's about Maori coming to the world," says co-ordinating curator Mark Amery.

The exhibitions bring together work by a selection of contemporary Maori artists who use digital technology to produce their work, or whose work reflects the digital age we live in. Included are artists with rising international reputations such as Berlin-based Peter Robinson, who, together with Jacqueline Fraser is currently representing New Zealand at the Venice Biennale, and Michael Parekowhai, whose celebrated 10 Guitars installation recently opened at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. Dean Hapeta aka Te Kupu, and Wayne Youle, both from the Wellington region, are also featured.

A CD-ROM, produced specially for Techno Maori, acts as a third 'virtual gallery', with digital films, music videos, artists statements and essays ($15 from both venues). The artists' sense of place and connection to their culture is strongly revealed, be it in digital film, video, sound installation or painting. The ihi (power) and wairua (spirit) of Te Urewera is powerfully captured in Natalie Robertson's large projected video loop. Maureen Lander and John Fairclough's UV-illuminated installations give a dramatic new reworking of traditional string figures.

Free events run at both venues from October to December. There will be a screening of Moko Toa, a children's series in Te Reo Maori, on Labour Day (22 October) at the City Cinema, City Gallery Wellington. Admission to Techno Maori is free. Techno Maori: Maori Art in the Digital Age is a partnership project between City Gallery Wellington and Pataka Porirua Museum of arts and cultures. Guest co-curators Jonathan Mané-Wheoki and Dr Deidre Brown. Generously supported by: Magnum Mac; Oktobor; Eyework Design and Production Ltd.; Creative New Zealand Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa. City Gallery Wellington is managed by the Wellington Museums Trust with major funding from the Wellington City Council.

Anne Irving Publicist T: 04 801 3959

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