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Sarah Callesen and Shelley Simpson

Title: The Entities
Year: 2018
Length: 15.00
Format: Two screen digital video
Credits: Audio: Sarah Callesen, video: Shelley Simpson
Our experience of the world around us is often mediated by technology, contributing to the idea that humans are separate from nature. In The Entities, artists Sarah Callesen and Shelley Simpson use visual and audio relationships between human and non-human, natural and artificial, culture and nature. All recording is subjective, mediated by both humans and technologies used in the process. The Entities considers the role of each player within the communication system, where each offers its own affect.

Simpson has created photographs of forest floor worlds in the temperate bush of Rakiura, Stewart Island – an intense, remote environment mostly devoid of human activity. We generally perceive events that occur at human scale, not too big, not too small. We can extend our perceptual range using technology. Scale shifts, time slows. The images are presented as a two-channel video work scaled up to an immersive size. Subtle animation augments the imagery, bringing attention to the sense of process, of visibility, of observer and of mediation.

In response to the macro imagery, Callesen presents an accompanying sound piece that considers change in sound at a qualitative scale other than loudness. Echo and reverb are tropes often used in film to exaggerate the sound of small things. Natural history documentaries often apply imagined sounds to visual footage, particularly for small fauna such as insects, which are too minute to capture with existing technology. Designed sound in film, television and now virtual environments, continue to fabricate what humans imagine unheard phenomena to sound like. Callesen has used designed planet atmospheres and other constructed sounds sourced from stock libraries, as well as manipulated field recordings taken by both artists.

Shelley Simpson’s images were created with the support of Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa and The Department of Conservation Te Papa Atawhai.

Thematic tags: Landscape, environment/ecology, sound, technology

Sarah Callesen holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Arts (with distinction) and a Bachelor of Design. Her practice explores a relationship with technology, particularly the mediation of perceptual experience. She works predominantly in the mediums of drawing and sound. Her work has been exhibited as a Merit Award winner in the 2018 Parkin Drawing Prize, as well as a finalist in the 2016, 2015 prize exhibitions. A finalist in the Molly Morpeth Canaday Award (2017), and in the Wallace Art Awards winners and finalists travelling exhibition (2015). The artist had a site specific work in the 2018 Auckland Art Fair ‘Projects’ exhibition, the group show ‘I Understand If You Are Busy’ at RM gallery (2018), and group shows at the George Fraser and Projectspace galleries, Elam School of Fine Arts (2017, 2016).
www.sarahcallesen.com

Shelley Simpson’s multi-disciplinary art practice is concerned with exploring the porous boundaries between the binary concepts of nature/culture and human/non-human. She works with materials that reference ecology and materialism, with specific attention given to agency, affect, labour, transformation, cooperation and symbiosis. Her recent projects explore extractive mining practices as a vehicle for examining wider issues. She is the recipient of a Wild Creations grant from CNZ and DOC for 2018 which funded a project based on 19th century tin mining in Stewart Island. Shelley received an MFA (First class honours) from Elam in 2016. In September 2017 she attended the course Posthuman Ethics in the Anthropocene, with Prof. Rosi Braidotti at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
www.art.shelleysimpson.co.nz


Lily Worrall

Title: The Corner
Year: 2017
Length: 06:42
Format: Documentation of installation
“A house constitutes a body of images that give mankind proofs or illusions of stability.”— Bachelard, Gaston & John R. Stilgoe. The Poetics of Space. Beacon Press, 1994.
The corner grounds itself on the plane of the fragile. It is a project that sits within the interstice, and within this frame of solidity, we see the negative space of solitude; the home, the family, the corner.
The house in this presentation acts as a frame that both envelops and projects. These projected images permeate from within the home. In doing so, they inhabit and acknowledge a sense of ‘presence’. Tentative in their pursuits, the hand-held movements of the camera allude to the maker of the images, and their fragmented and cropped nature intensify the actions within the frame. By capturing a sense of voyeurism and imagined senses, these ‘home videos’ elicit both forms of experience for the viewer and the editor. 
The ‘close-up’ gives a sense of integrity to an image of an action. To find a way of encapsulating stillness in action was a push towards angling the camera down towards the feet, to hide the figure but confess its intimacies within anonymity. I have acted as a mobile figure within an immobile space, taking cues from the traversal entity of the flâneur; regarding my imposed limitations within the home.
This body of work reflects that space within the corner, and my proximity with these figures and movements slowly drifts onto the suburban street; noticeable to those who are open to see within this liminality. The use of familial images and experiences prompts me to reflect on the self, whilst speaking to the fragmentation of the familial archive. It has become a way of forming this ‘self’ within and around the home; through presenting and concealing isolated forms of my parents, and to explore the practice of investigating personal and intimate surroundings and how they can permeate into the immediate exterior of a commonly revered solidified structure. 


Thematic tags: documentary, feminism, photography, fine art

Title: Trip
Year: 2015
Length: 12:04
Format: Video
“Just as in life, one can only really see and hear when one is in a state of availability.” (T. Minh-ha 215).

The interlude, the in-between, and the interstitial spaces in films are traditionally shot by a second unit. I seek to inhabit the role of the second-hand filmmaker, disconnected from the clear narrative of the classical form of filmmaking. I act as a Flâneuse, my camera the wandering eye of my observations. Through investigating these preliminary practices, this work acts as an on-going project that questions ways of organising connections; collecting and montaging images for future thoughts and reflection. In this way the work performs like a photo album. A curated composition that aims  to revel in the isolation and fragmentation of familial memories and the family unit. Although curated images may insight a degree of disconnect between family members, they also create a sense of alienation when viewed by a stranger. The stranger must then look in a state of availability, with the responsibility and challenge to form their own narrative, potentially over many sittings. 

“As that claustrophobic unit, the nuclear family, was being carved out of a much larger family aggregate, photography came along to memorialize, to restate symbolically, the imperiled continuity and vanishing extendedness of family life.” (Sontag 9). Working with family comes as an intrinsic type of collaboration. Documenting family experience is regularly perceived through the parents eyes, and becomes the child’s responsibility as the family comes to a point of separation. The “claustrophobic unit” performs within a structure that includes several subjectivities. Through my organisation of captured moments, editing with footage and photographs taken by different members of the family, the images become realised and coherent to us as relatives, despite its stagnated structure and resistance to convenient narrative hooks.

To those that are not privy to the omitted experiences, the film creates a place for projected memories. The uncertainty of duration or erratic changes in focus call for the audience to develop their own narratives and way to work around the images. Its position is to thrive on fragile ground. The awkward nature of interspersed static material and long traveling shots invite reflection and discomfort.  

Title: Cafe Undone
Year: 2014
Length: 10:18
Format: HD video

Lily Worrall is an Auckland based artist, who has recently completed her BFA at Elam School of Fine Arts with first class Honours, and a BA in Film theory at the University of Auckland. She is a structuralist filmmaker, whose practice integrates familial archives, digital materiality, found  materials and feminist film theory. 

Worrall’s practice intuitively leans towards capturing the uncanny. Her videos encompass her relationship to family life which meld cinematic narratives to the personal.

https://lilygracemercedes.wixsite.com


Emily Parr

Title: Te Aroha
Year: 2017
Length: 04:45
Format: HD video
Credits:
During the occupation* of Niki’s house, weekly waiata** nights have been held to foster whanaungatanga***. The collective voices can be heard along Taniwha Street on a Thursday evening, travelling easily because of the empty spaces. The redevelopment is physically dismantling Glen Innes, through the removal of houses by truck or demolition (in this video, 69 Taniwha Street). But in their place stands a different form of community – one that is growing ever stronger. On the day of filming (23/03), Niki had again been under a direct threat of eviction. She closed Waiata Club with this: “This has been the hardest day of these last six years. But we’re still here. And we’re still singing.”
Ngā mihi Tāmaki Housing Group & Waiata Club.
facebook.com/thishomeisoccupied
** song
*** kinship, a relationship of shared experiences through working together that creates a sense of belonging
Thematic tags: documentary, capitalism, politics, decoloniality, sound, spirituality, indigenous methodologies, housing (Te Aroha)

Title: Te Wai Mokoia
Year: 2016
Length: 17:30
Format: HD video
Credits:
Te Wai Mokoia was the winner of Uxbridge’s 10th Estuary Art Awards. It is a unique single edition belonging to the Auckland Council.

This work considers ecology not only in relation to biology, but in relation to a wider understanding of ecology – that of the relationships between people, their whenua, and social and political frameworks. It is centred on a specific ecology, presented through a kōrero between a kuia and her whāngai daughter, both long term residents of Glen Innes. The health of Te Wai Mokoia cannot be separated from its people, a community that is fighting to stay in their homes. 

Tāmaki is currently undergoing “regeneration”, a process through which thousands of state housing tenants are being affected. Many residents are refusing to be moved away from their homes – a collective resistance that is taking a huge toll on the community’s hauora. Our people are made vulnerable by a colonial capitalist state, and our safety nets are being removed through governmental policy.

The work considers all that extends from a house – childhood memories, the garden we bury in and grow from, and the environment surrounding it. For residents of Glen Innes, the estuary is a site of resource gathering, of learning and exploration, and a place to foster interconnectedness with nature. Te Wai Mokoia flows through this community as wairua tapu.
Thematic tags: documentary, capitalism, politics, decoloniality, environment/ecology, landscape sound, spirituality, indigenous methodologies, housing (Te Wai Mokoia)

Emily Parr (Ngāi Te Rangi, Te Moananui a Kiwa, Pākehā) was born in Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from Elam, and is currently undertaking a Master of Visual Arts at AUT. Parr makes video art centered around specific ecologies: the relationships between people, whenua, and social and political frameworks. She is particularly excited by imagining decolonial futures through film. Her artwork Te Wai Mokoia was the winner of the 2016 Tāmaki Estuary Art Awards. Parr is also a member of Accompany Collective, formed in 2014 to work and walk alongside activist groups. Over the past five years she has been making posters and recording actions with the Collective.

http://www.cargocollective.com/emilyparr


Becky Nunes

Title: This Air is a Material
Year: 2017
Length: 52:43
Format: HD video
Credits: Director/Producer: Becky Nunes
Ann Shelton left her hometown of Timaru in the 80’s on a mission. Her seminal project Redeye captured the zeitgeist of Auckland, New Zealand in the 90’s, and catapulted her to public notoriety. Ann has made many rich and complex bodies of work that unearth local mythologies, “ghosted” stories and characters and narratives previously written out of history. This Air is a Material deepens the understanding of this important artist & her work. With interviews, high quality footage of Ann’s artwork and archival imagery, the documentary not only illuminates her practice but also the small towns, urban myths and creative communities that shaped it. Artists, writers and curators speak with passion and insight about Ann’s work and its historical and contemporary contexts. Ann herself provides much of the guiding narration. The film explores the visual themes and motifs of Ann’s work, tracing its origins in the hostory and landscapes of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Thematic tags: documentary, feminism, photography, fine art

Title: Open Home – a glimpse into Ann Shelton’s House Work.
Year: 2016
Length: 06:00
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
Year: 2017
Length: 27:00
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.

http://www.facebook.com/sheltonfilm


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