• Lisa Reihana, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015–17, 4K video, color, sound, 64 minutes.

    “Lisa Reihana: Cinemania”

    Axia Modern Art
    CNR Camden and Appin Roads 1010 High Street, VIC
    January 12–March 29, 2018

    Curated by Michael Dagostino

    The exhibition for New Zealand’s pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, “Lisa Reihana: Emissaries,” consisted almost entirely of the artist’s massive video projection in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015–17, which reimagines Jean-Gabriel Charvet’s early-nineteenth-century scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages de la Mer Pacifique. Reihana’s digital panorama attempts to subvert the original wallpaper’s arcadian portrayal of James Cook’s voyages, deploying performers who act out the real-life events and traumas of early contact between British and Pacific peoples. This show—which also focuses on iPOVi—is a homecoming of sorts: Reihana’s work features scenes of Aboriginal dancers from Campbelltown’s Dharawal community. Cook, of course, famously “discovered” Australia. “Cinemania,” then, promises to close the circle, putting Cook’s legacy, and iPOVi’s postcolonial politics, to the test in a country still struggling to address the indigenous devastation caused by colonization.