[ISEA2011] Artist Statement: Rachael Rakena – One Man is an Island

Artist Statement

A solitary and self-contained male figure eats at the table of Tangaroa (the god of the sea) in a dark water world, which is at once sensuous and forbidding – evoking narratives of Narcissus, Maui and Hine nui Te Po.

  • Rachael Rakena was born in 1969 in Wellington, New Zealand, of Maori and European/Pakeha descent (Ngai Tahu, Nga Puhi). She has a Master of Fine Arts (Distinction) and is a lecturer at Massey University, School of Maori Visual Arts. Rakena has been exhibiting widely for more than 10 years throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe, and in the UK and USA. Rakena is a video artist who frequently collaborates. In 2007, Aniwaniwa a collaborative project with Brett Graham was included in the collateral events section of the 2007 Venice Biennale. Other major international exhibitions of recent years have included the Busan Biennale, 2008 and Sydney Biennale 2006. In work that is both ethereal and political, she employs a new language and new tools derived from digital media and video to invoke a contemporary Maori identity that is timeless and fluid. She is a highly innovative artist who explores the application of contemporary technology to articulate timeless notions of Maori culture and identity that flow from the past, through the present and into the future.

Full text and images (PDF) p.  204-205