Title: An Age of Iron
Format: HD video
Credits: Director: Becky Nunes
This short experimental documentary asks the audience to consider land rights, resource extraction, ownership, and our relationships with more-than-human materials and place.
Tahāroa is a tiny settlement to the South-West of the Kawhia harbor, in the North Island of New Zealand. At the end of a long winding road the township itself sits in a tight huddle of new and older houses and workers’ cottages. N.Z Steel first brokered an agreement with local tribe Ngāti Mahuta ki te Hauāuru in the 70’s to extract the titanomagnetite from the sands and ship it offshore for use in the
construction of steel. Tucked out of sight, over the headland, the dredging operation of this iron-ore extraction from the volcanic black sands of the foreshore has been continuing unabated for 40 years.
Nunes’ film asks what prolonged mineral extraction and the re-introduction of that material into the global manufacturing chain might mean for the mauri (or
spirit) of the land, and for our planetary relationships.
Thematic tags: Documentary, mining, ecology, labour
Title: Open Home – a glimpse into Ann Shelton’s House Work.
Format: HD video
Credits: Director/Producer: Becky Nunes
On December 5th and 6th of 2015 groups of curious guests were invited to attend an offsite event as part of Enjoy Gallery’s Enjoy Feminisms exhibition. This event took place in a house designed for Nancy Martin, a musician and educator, by immigrant architect Frederick Ost, in 1957. Artist Ann Shelton and her partner now live in this house, and in House Work Shelton and ghost-writer Pip Adam weave together past and present, archive and fiction. This film is a document of that event.
Thematic tags: performance, documentary, capitalism, politics, feminism, work/labour
Title: Pictures on Paper – The Photobook in New Zealand
Format: HD video
Credits: Director: Becky Nunes & Anita Totha Producer: Becky Nunes. Sound: David Cowlard. Camera: Parisa Taghizadeh & David Cowlard. A Tangent Production
The photo-book has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent years. Combined with on-demand publishing it now offers photographers unprecedented and unmediated access to audiences for their work. From a bespoke and limited edition artist book to a large print run showcasing the entire body of work of an artist, the photo-book has shifted from background to foreground for the attention of art fairs, libraries and collectors. This short documentary charts some of the key moments in the history of the photo book in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Interviews with early proponents of the form such as photographer/publisher Haru Sameshima and photographer David Cook give context. Harvey Benge talks about his long-term obsession with the photobook format, his own printed works and his extensive collection.Importantly, the film also foregrounds the now; a slice of contemporary bookmaking in the early 21st Century. Solomon Mortimer, David Cook & Ann Shelton are some of the important lens-based artists working in the medium today. This documentary has no claims on any encyclopedic qualities. Rather, it aims to intrigue, inspire and provoke debate around a medium that, in the South Pacific at least, is still in its teenage years. The photo book, like any art form linked intrinsically with technology as its means of production, is on the move. What this film portrays as the “now” of 2015 will be an important archival contribution to our collective imaging history in the turn of a page.
Thematic tags:Documentary, history of New Zealand photography
Becky Nunes is a lens-based artist and educator. Her images have been awarded, published & exhibited locally and internationally. Nunes is a founder member of Tangent Collective. She works at the nexus of fine art and documentary practice, most recently producing and directing the awarded documentary film This Air is a Material. Her primary field of research is the complex arena of site, subject and the co-authoring of representation. Her work articulates, via photographs, moving image and sound, some of the complex narratives of Aotearoa in the era of the Anthropocene.