Sandy Gibbs

Title: Recalling Tui
Year:     2016
Length: 10:01
Format: Single-channel video
Credits: Director/performer: Sandy Gibbs
I called Tui on the phone – I nervously introduced myself; I should have been more alert to her hesitancy. I asked if I could talk to her about her experiences swimming at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. But she firmly said “No” – actually what she said was “I don’t do that sort of thing.” I tried my hardest to keep her on the line, but then she was gone. I didn’t even get to mention restaging the race. My heart was thumping hard when I put down the phone. In that awful moment of utter and dismal failure, I gained my first startled glimpse into the depths of precariousness that underscored this project, and I knew that this meant trouble with a capital T. It was unravelling right before it even got started. Enter ‘contingencies

Later, I kicked myself that I hadn’t documented the phone call. But given it had been such a brief encounter, I felt sure I could remember it word for word. Easy, I thought, as I set up a video camera a couple of months later in my lounge. I didn’t worry too much about the busy traffic noise outside, or fussing over the framing or the focus – I simply sat down in front of the camera and started recalling the conversation. Except that I couldn’t. Recall it, that is. Suddenly it was gone, as absent and elusive as Tui had been. I made a start, thinking it might take me three or four goes to properly recall the conversation so I kept the camera rolling. Instead, it took shape as a single 10-minute video made up of repetitions, half-started and unfinished sentences, pauses and some really awkward silences.

An unexpected outcome of this experience was the degree to which the attempt to recall an otherwise mundane phone conversation activated what could be described as an uncomfortably dark humour that exploits uncertainty; a human earnestness at once both comic and despairing that becomes more and more painful and embarrassing as I stumble through endless repetitions. Recalling Tui is framed by and references the original phone call but is subverted through a strategy of displacement – in this case, a configuration of anxiety and humour – that first locates the familiar, and then makes it strange.

Title: Lighting an old flame
Year:     2016
Length: 2:24
Format: Single-channel video
Credits: Director/performer: Sandy Gibbs
Drone camera operators: Alex Paterson and Isaac Paterson at SkyzoneNZ
Camera: Chris Williams
Costume: Clare Weterings
Voiceover: Excerpt from Olímpiada en México (dir. Alberto Isaac)

The 1968 Mexico Olympics was the first time that the Olympic flame was lit by a woman. Beautifully captured in Alberto Isaac’s documentary, the young Mexican hurdler Norma Enriqueta Basilio runs into the stadium with the Olympic flame, completes a lap and then – effortlessly – she bounds up a long flight of steps to the very top of the stadium where she symbolically lights the cauldron. This was the signal for the start of the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games

I resolved to restage this moment in suburban Wellington. I scouted around for a suitable site, finally opting for a long flight of steps that stretch up from Lyall Bay, a southern beachside suburb of the city. A friend sewed a white running outfit to match the one worn by Basilio. I made an Olympic flame out of coloured cardboard, and a fake cauldron from heavy card that I spray-painted metallic silver. I bought half a dozen helium-filled balloons from a party supply shop (six was the most that would squash into the back of my old Beetle), and I hired a couple of camera guys with a drone. Heads popped up over the neighbouring fences and kids turned up to watch the drone taking off and landing. At first, they thought I was a real estate agent. “What are you doing?” they asked. “It’s art,” I said. Suddenly they looked at me differently.

The end result is Lighting an old flame, an amateur theatrical performance: a deliberate attempt at activating a humorous register and playing out a fantasy – this time in a public performance to counter the perceived dichotomy of invisibility/hyper visibility facing the ageing woman. In this work, I examine humour, parody and the otherness of the ageing female body as a social construct and cultural condition. The whole thing is precarious and amateurish – but in its complete absurdity, it portrays a total and optimistic belief in the fantasy of an ageing woman who never stopped dreaming of making it to the Olympics. And who is determined to play it out.

Title: The swimmer and the spy
Year:     2017
Length: 2:22
Format: Single-channel video
Credits: Director/performer: Sandy Gibbs
Video: Chris Williams

In my quest to track down the other swimmers from 1968, nowhere could I find any trace of the two former-East German swimmers, Marianne Seydel and Sabine Steinbach. Drawing upon conceptual art strategies in part inspired by artists Sophie Calle and Vito Acconci, I hired a German private eye in a failed attempt to locate them and hopefully to connect us. However, although he was successful, under German privacy laws he was unable to give me their details, and neither of the two women opted to make contact with me. Instead, this culminated in my visit to the swimming pool in Chemnitz, Germany, where Marianne Seydel and Sabine Steinbach trained for the 1968 Olympics under the watchful eye of their Stasi coaches. Vicariously inserting myself into their stories, I swam in this pool with a heightened awareness of the biopolitics, power and ideologies that still permeate the space.

Title:How to wear a disguise
Year:     2017
Length: 2:52
Format: Single-channel video
Credits: Director/performer/video editor: Sandy Gibbs
Camera: Chris Williams
Soundtrack: The Boss Henry Mancini            
Costumes hired from Costume Cave, Wellington

Before we left Germany, we paid a visit to the Stasi Museum in Berlin. There, I was transfixed by an exhibition of sinister spycraft memorabilia of Stasi agents being taught how to wear disguises, how to put on wigs and false moustaches, how to disguise themselves as Western tourists. A bit like kids playing at dress-up but, absurdly, these were grown-ups and what they were doing was very unfunny. It was all a bit sinister and creepy, this motley collection of very ordinary-looking people trained to spy on their own.

The tragicomic, according to theatre scholar John Orr, is “short, frail, explosive and bewildering. It balances comic repetition against tragic downfall. It demonstrates the coexistence of amusement and pity, terror and laughter.”[1] Likewise, How to wear a disguise is an attempt at using humour to draw out the tragicomic side of biopolitics and of East Germany’s forty-year Stasi regime – also short, tragic and terrifying. I had been – in equal measure – appalled, weirdly amused and fascinated by the stark evidence of the exhibits. But also, I was intrigued by the photographs of the spies, ordinary citizens who were recruited by the Stasi to inform on their families, friends and colleagues. In How to wear a disguise I set out to explore these politicised double lives through a tragicomic lens, playing with tensions oscillating between the photos and the videoed performance, improvising actions and gestures imagined from the Stasi photos.

[1] John Orr, Tragicomedy and Contemporary Culture: Pity and Performance from Beckett to Shepard (Basingstoke & London: MacMillan, 1991), 1.

Title:Space-Girl Dance
Year:     2018
Length: 1:42
Format: Single-channel video
Credits: Director/performer: Sandy Gibbs
Camera: Katri Walker
Support crew: Hardy Martinez Léon, Chris Williams
Video editor: Ro Tierney
Soundtrack from the original Space-Girl Dance (1970) featuring Raquel Welch
Shot on location in Mexico City

In 1970, actress Raquel Welch starred in a video in which she, a space-age Barbarella flanked by two silver-suited males, danced and gyrated in front of a collection of huge concrete modernist sculptures that had been commissioned for the 1968 Olympics. Almost fifty years later, on a very hot day in Mexico City, I squeezed myself into a tight-fitting metallic silver bodysuit and we went hunting for those very sculptures. I was on my way to restage Raquel Welch’s Space-Girl Dance.

One small hitch: I can’t dance. I had managed a quick half-hour lesson two days before we left New Zealand, a lesson in which I was irrefutably outdanced by a five-year-old. But nothing had quite prepared me for the mess I’d got myself into this time. This struck me with considerable force as I lurched across a crazy Mexico City highway in my silver suit. And it was really hot. By the time I hauled myself up to the solid blue mass of Willi Gutmann’s El Ancla, I was already turning a sweaty pink. On top of that, I knew that there was no way I was going to remember any of my hastily learnt dance steps. Skidding and stumbling over a thick bed of loose lava rocks, I had no choice: I had to wing it. Strutting my stuff in full view of the passing traffic, I discovered the power of a tight silver bodysuit – even one worn by an older woman. Mexican men kept tooting their car horns as they sped past, and I swear the gap between Raquel and me got a whole lot smaller. I could feel the stardom.

A distinctive flavour of parody is prefaced in Space-Girl Dance to the point of tipping my performance over into the ridiculous. In Space-Girl Dance, parody lies in the process of recontextualising the differences between the dancers and the modernist sculptures. Raquel, the 60s sex symbol resplendent in her futuristic bikini, is replaced by a 60-year-old woman in a silver suit who can’t dance. And the monumental concrete sculptures, once the epitome of 1968 phallic modernism, have shifted from being powerful symbols of heroic masculinity into anachronistic obsolescence with their dilapidated peeling paint and crumbling concrete. In the original, flanked by two supporting male dancers, Raquel dances in and around the sculptures – a centrefold girl performing and reinforcing 60s masculine so-called norms and expectations. In her revealing space-age outfit, Raquel affirms this relationship as she moves, gyrates and dances in and around the sculptures. By contrast, the restaged Space-Girl Dance inverts the relationship: this time, the dancer is an irreverent older woman, the ‘other,’ flexing her ageing muscles in front of these equally ageing patriarchal relics, their status also now questionable in context. As such, the “resulting oscillation between similarity and difference”[1] creates a new, disruptive space of incongruity. Humour is generated in the restaged Space-Girl Dance as an outcome of using parody as a tool; and the level of incongruity in turn, like a volume control, dictates the variant levels of humorous ridiculousness that oscillate throughout the work.

 [1] Dan Harries, Film Parody (London: British Film Institute, 2000), 6.

Title:Stadium walk (opening ceremony)
Year:     2018
Length: 2:18
Format: Single-channel video
Credits: Director/performer: Sandy GibbsCamera: Katri Walker, Claudia Becerril
Producer: Cata Bojacá
Support crew: Chris Williams
Costume: Sandy Gibbs
Milliner: Liza Foreman
Video editor: Ro Tierney
Sound recording: Carlos Fernandez and Uriel Duran, Yellow Tree Studios
Shot on location at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México UNAM, Mexico City.
Thanks to Dirección General del Patrimonio of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México UNAM, and the Estadio Olímpico Universitario team, Juan José Ugalde García, Manager and Sergio Juárez, our guide.

“Is there anyone who has not, at least once, walked into a room and ‘felt the atmosphere’?” So Teresa Brennan challenges her readers, arguing that the transmission of affect is not only social and psychological but is also responsible for physical and biological changes.[1] Scholar Sarah Ahmed refers to emotion as visceral, or sticky, assigning it bodiliness,[2] and there was no doubt – throughout my entire body, I could sense a powerful atmosphere in the stadium.

Facing the camera, exposed, brutally honest, in my self-awareness I am transfixed by these close-ups: by my facial gestures, my attempts to smile, trying hard not to cry, a denial of vulnerability, and then finally – losing the battle – I cry. Caught off guard, I’m embarrassed that I look so very old, and I’m embarrassed by my exposure, my failure to control my emotions. My tears are real, however I am not sad. Instead, my display of emotion is poised on a cusp between pathos and absurdity, for written on my face is also the tearful delight and relief of finally fulfilling my fantasy of making it to the Olympics – albeit too late, too old, too past-it, but buoyed by my enduring and optimistic belief in the fantasy. “Traversing the fantasy,” in the words of Žižek, “[is to] fully identify oneself with the fantasy, to bring the fantasy out.”[3] In other words, an escape from the real is an embrace of the artifice and the inauthentic through collapsing the real into the fantasy. Here, the enclosed space of the stadium is complicit, designating its interiority as an ‘other’ kind of space, as Steven Connor observed: “Anything can happen in a space like this.”[4] Indeed, something magical had happened – in the inauthentic and ‘exceptional space’ of the stadium and this restaged opening ceremony, for a brief moment I lived my fantasy and my experience in the expanse of the stadium was profoundly moving.

[1] Teresa Brennan, The Transmission of Affect (Ithaca, NY & London: Cornell University Press, 2004), 1.

[2] Sara Ahmed, The Cultural Politics of Emotion (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014), 89–90.

[3] Slavoj Žižek, Event: Philosophy in Transit (London: Penguin Books, 2014), 29.

[4] Steven Connor, “Playgrounds: The Arenas of Game,” Bartlett School of Architecture International Lecture

Series, 2008; 7, http://stevenconnor.com/playgrounds/playgrounds.pdf

Title:The swimming race (Mexico City)
Year:     2018
Length: 4:10
Format: Single-channel video
Credits: Performers/swimmers (in lane order):
Norma Angelica Pérez
María de Los Ángeles Limonchi
Rocío Alcaraz Ugalde
Mercedes del Castillo Velazco
María de la Luz Flores
María del Rosario Villanueva
Irma Guadalupe del Rio Valdivia
Sandy Gibbs
Camera crew: Katri Walker (director of photography)
María José Secco
Paulina del Paso
Claudia Becerril
Producer: Catalina Bojacá
Starter judge: Abdón Diaz Aparicio
Support crew: Chris Williams
Swimming costume design, fabric printing and making: Ramon Figueroa and Ana Rios, Warehouse
Sound recording: Carlos Fernandez and Uriel Duran, Yellow Tree Studios
Video editor: Ro Tierney

Thanks to the Alberca Olímpica Francisco Marquez team for all the support:

Angel Erick Santiago Hernández, Director del Deporte

Ivette Reyes and Jesús Alejandro Cruz

Shot on location at Alberca Olímpica Francisco Marquez, Mexico City

By substituting the youthful swimmers of 1968 with aged female counterparts fifty years later, this work is a direct engagement with the ageing female body and a riposte to the double standard of ageing that Susan Sontag identified in relation to older women: “The idea of an old woman in a bathing suit being attractive, or even just acceptable looking, is inconceivable.”[1] Through Bergson, time is considered as both race time and lived time, and as the visible manifestation of time inscribed on the swimmers’ bodies – or, to borrow from Adrian Heathfield, as a kind of “durational aesthetic”.[2]

The act of setting up the swimming race had thrust me into a situation that required ceding a certain amount of authorial control and autonomy. Tracing a particular lineage through the conventions of performance art, Claire Bishop coined the term ‘delegated performance’ to describe “the act of hiring non-professionals … to undertake the job of being present and performing at a particular time and place on behalf of the artist, and following his or her instructions.”[3] This, however, does not take into account the presence of the artist – me – also ‘undertaking and performing’ in the same artwork at the same time, and being as much a ‘non-professional’ as the other performers/competitors. Our ages were similar, and we were all older female swimmers together, but I really had no idea of their swimming abilities or even, indeed, if they would turn up on race day. I had handed over control. Doing so, and delegating performance to others, underlines the inherent risk, uncertainty and ever-present potential for failure that lies at the heart of this restaging project. As a counter to Bishop’s claim that delegated performers provide the artist with “a guarantee of authenticity,”[4] I argue instead that having to cede authorial control within The swimming project, in that it utilised a specific restaging methodology with no pre-determined outcome, contributed to the creation of an ‘inauthentic’ – and therefore new and different – swimming race. For instance, once we hit the water, the race itself was not directed or scripted, the outcome was premised purely upon the swimmers’ abilities, and I had one rule: to swim the race only once. “Just like at the Olympics. No second goes, no reshoots. What happens, happens.”

My failure to enlist any of the original swimmers from 1968 transformed the event as, predicated upon the thrall of an unknown outcome and through the methodology of restaging, the unplanned produced a new and different result. For, while The swimming project set out to restage an historic event, it deliberately sought to respond to and retain the thrall of an unknown outcome. Buoyed with uncertainty and precariousness, the project re-introduced the elements of chance and risk of personal failure for each of the competitors – and for me as the artist as well. In this, The swimming project repositioned itself within the field of artistic restaging with a different method of making, one that was open ended, unrehearsed and without a pre-determined outcome.

[1] Susan Sontag, “The Double Standard of Aging,” The Saturday Review, September 23, 1972.

[2] Adrian Heathfield, “Thought of Duration,” in Time, ed. Amelia Groom (London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2013), 98.

[3] Claire Bishop, “Delegated Performance: Outsourcing Authenticity,” October 140 (Spring 2012): 91.

[4] Bishop, “Delegated Performance,” 110.

Gibbs is a Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington-based artist and has recently completed her PhD at Deakin University, Melbourne. Her research project, The paradox of failure: sport, competition and contemporary art, charted a failed attempt to restage the women’s 400 metres individual medley swimming final from the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Her childhood hero Tui Shipston had come seventh in this race in 1968 – in an absurd but romantic quest, Gibbs set out to locate and enlist the eight original swimmers from the 1968 final and, in doing so, to offer Tui the chance to win gold this time.

Through the production of a series of video artworks, this research project expands upon and redefines the video-art methodology of restaging as a progenitor of newness and difference. Located within a framework of failure, sport and art, the works challenge the outsider status and invisibility of the ageing female athletic body. Through self-reflexive performances in which Gibbs restages a series of ‘events’ connected through the research to the 1968 Mexico Olympics, she takes on the role of the ageing woman – in doing so, Gibbs critically examines notions of failure, fantasy and inauthenticity, activating different registers of humour, emotion, optimism and precariousness – culminating in the final denouement in Mexico City.

Gibbs has shown work in multiple group exhibitions and public screenings. The paradox of failure: sport, competition and contemporary art was exhibited at RM Gallery and Project Space in 2021. In 2018, How to wear a disguise was shown at Video Contemporary at Sydney ContemporaryLighting an old flame was shown at Mason’s Screen, Wellington (2018), and was also included in the ‘Art and Performance by Research’ exhibition, Deakin University (2017). Private Investigations was a joint show with Mike Ting at Meanwhile Gallery, Wellington (2017).

Gibbs graduated from Massey University in Wellington with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) in 2004, a Master of Fine Arts (With Distinction) in 2012, and gained her PhD from Deakin University in Melbourne in 2021.

Thematic tags:

Jennifer Mason

Title: Introspective
Year: 2016
Length: 06:46

Many of the videos Mason made in the mid 2000’s were influenced by the British television comedy she watched whilst growing up.  Mason was studying towards a BA in Women’s Studies at the time she made the videos and explored some of the ideas she was reading about through a framework of sarcasm, satire, and self-depreciation.  Mason was interested in the way comedians such as John Cleese, Jennifer Saunders and Rik Mayall would use their bodies in slapstick style humour.  They used their bodies as an object, particularly as an object of humiliation. Mason felt the framework in which these comedians worked was an interesting way to talk about discourse around gender politics. 

Jennifer Mason is an interdisciplinary artist working across painting, photography, video, and installation. She studied at Elam School of Fine Arts in 2013 followed by Glasgow School of Art in 2015.  Jennifer was born in Auckland and currently resides in Piha.

Instagram: @jennifer_mason_mason

Isabelle Russell

Title: That Which Words Escape
Year: 2020
Length: 18:40
Format: Single-channel video with sound

‘That Which Words Escape’ is a digital record for the original durational work performed by both artists collaboratively, hand in hand. The video and paired audio work reconstruct and preserve this temporal, site-responsive moment in time. Filmed inside an abandoned mining cave in Otari-Wilton’s Bush, Wellington. The cave faces out towards the city and is a setting of sonic conflict, with traffic noise pollution undermining the otherwise organic sonic landscape. Both bodies sit patiently upon the wet cavernous floor. A Weta family of four above our heads. The performance commences as both bodies position themselves facing opposite ends of the cave, hands clasped supporting the flame which connects them physically and visually through the light that emits between them. One perspective faces into the belly of the cave, its parameters undistinguishable, cloaked in darkness. The other face outwards towards the mouth where pale daylight and sound leech into the hollowed space. Carved out from the side of the hills rocky face, the earthen pocket envelopes both bodies as they waver between states of consciousness through this meditative act. The work poses questions concerning bodily autonomy and connection when occupying spaces of an enduring, transient, or inhospitable nature. This moving image work forms multiple dichotomous relationships between body and proximity, time and sound, and entanglements of physical and psychological states. 

Artist Isabelle Russell, based in Tāmaki Makaurau, recently completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from Massey University in 2019.

Instagram: russell_isabelle

Dayle Palfreyman

Title: That Which Words Escape
Year: 2020
Length: 18:40
Format: Single-channel video with sound

‘That Which Words Escape’ is a digital record for the original durational work performed by both artists collaboratively, hand in hand. The video and paired audio work reconstruct and preserve this temporal, site-responsive moment in time. Filmed inside an abandoned mining cave in Otari-Wilton’s Bush, Wellington. The cave faces out towards the city and is a setting of sonic conflict, with traffic noise pollution undermining the otherwise organic sonic landscape. Both bodies sit patiently upon the wet cavernous floor. A Weta family of four above our heads. The performance commences as both bodies position themselves facing opposite ends of the cave, hands clasped supporting the flame which connects them physically and visually through the light that emits between them. One perspective faces into the belly of the cave, its parameters undistinguishable, cloaked in darkness. The other face outwards towards the mouth where pale daylight and sound leech into the hollowed space. Carved out from the side of the hills rocky face, the earthen pocket envelopes both bodies as they waver between states of consciousness through this meditative act. The work poses questions concerning bodily autonomy and connection when occupying spaces of an enduring, transient, or inhospitable nature. This moving image work forms multiple dichotomous relationships between body and proximity, time and sound, and entanglements of physical and psychological states. 

Artist Dayle Palfreyman, based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, recently completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from Massey University in 2019.

Instagram: dayle_palfrey

Hanna Shim

Title: One day I’ll fly on the bird’s back
Year: 2014
Length: 00:18
Format: MOV video

Before soft sculpting became my major practice, I used to play with accessible and traditional art mediums such as clay and pencil drawing – which can instantly depict the rawer form of thoughts and ideas with my bare hands. The initial purpose of this experimental loop animation series was to adapt hand drawing to new media without losing the imperfect and fragile hand-drawn quality. During that time, I considered the qualities were parallel to the status of myself as to an artist. Distinct from happy and untainted animated figures – freely flying and skipping, the hazy background images remain static and quiet. The photographs were taken from my bedroom window the view of Totara Heights, which implies the state of the daydreaming – seesawing between dreams and reality; potentiality and hopelessness. The video invites and attracts audiences with its wittiness for the first glance yet connotes hollow limbo of endless loops with meaningless movements.

Thematic tags: Narrative, body, animation, sex and sexuality, new media

Title: One day I’ll skip naked
Year: 2014
Length: 00:30
Format: MOV video

Hanna Shim is an Auckland-based artist, born in Seoul, Korea and raised in New Zealand. Shim identifies herself as a maker, her practice contains certain qualities of playfulness and childishness both in her processes and visual outcome. It involves a mode of condensation and hybridisation of contradicted imageries, objects and stories. Her works talk about naivety with a sinister undertone. The works may seem cute, but at the same time, they imbue unexpected twists and irony. She uses the quality of cuteness as a functional device for the sublimation of cruelty. She is interested in creating a space that is saturated with awkwardness, discomfort, and dry laughter. By embracing two or more contradicting elements, she aims to blur down the borders and boundaries which exist among them. It is the point where she believes in her own utopia. Shim works across a range of media including watercolour to oil, and clay to fabric. Her earlier works involved much more intuitive and subconscious methods of making with hand-drawing, and hand-making; using generative materials like watercolour paint and clay. Her recent work has developed into a more moderated process of hand-making. Hanna creates more control by making patterns for her soft sculptures and creating distinct forms and lines that are reminiscent of hand-drawn qualities. This change of method has led Hanna to become an artist and a tailor. Through this process, her work brings hints of mass production which shows the breaking down of the border between high art and kitsch. Shim completed Elam School of Fine Arts BFA in 2012 at the University of Auckland and has continued into MFA. She has participated in numerous group shows with Elam attendees and alumni.


Lila Bullens

Title: 2.5 Kilometre Mono Action for a Mirage
Year: 2011
Length: 03:29
Format: 35mm, Dolby 5.1 xfer to HD
Credits: Director: Alex Monteith
DOP: Duncan Cole
Sound Recordist: Jeffery Holdaway
Dolby Digital Mix: Park Road Post
35mm Print: Weta Digital
Artist Cinema Commissions
Mark Williams
In association with Creative New Zealand & The University of Auckland Elam School of Fine Arts

Flux, balance, illusion. A Moto-X rider pulls a continuous wheelie over 2.5 kilometres of coast-line north of Muriwai in Aotearoa New Zealand. The wheelie is one of the most delicately balanced longer durations stunts for a MX rider. The action was conceived specifically for the hazy atmospheric conditions of the Aotearoa coast and takes place on the hard sand revealed only at low tide.

Alex Monteith was born Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1977 and moved to Palmerston North, New Zealand in 1987 with family. She currently lives and works in Auckland. Monteith completed BFA in Photography in 2001, MFA in Intermedia and the time based arts and DocFA at the Elam School of Fine Arts, The University of Auckland. Between 1999 and 2012 Monteith was actively involved in art discourse through exhibition, panel discussions and gallery floor talks (art galleries, film festivals, TV and radio both nationally (NZ) and internationally).

Monteith also was a competitive surfer for 6 years, she was the Irish National Women’s champ in 2001 and represented Ireland in both the 2002 ISA world surfing games in Durban, S.A. and the European Surfing Championships in 2001 in addition to competing on the NZ national circuit.


Paige Pomana and Jazz dos Santos

Title: IN FRAME | Infamy Apparel
Year: 2020
Length: 04:25
Format: Single-channel video
Credits: Directed, filmed & produced by Paige Pomana & Jazz Dos Santos

IN FRAME is a collection of short films centred around the documentation of everyday creatives. Creative Director of Infamy Apparel, Amy Lautogo, spoke to us about shifting the paradigm of the portrayal of fat people in the fashion industry and how we need to reevaluate our individual conditioning under a colonial, capitalist, system.
Thematic tags: Performance, documentary, body, capitalism, politics, feminism, decoloniality, LGBTQ.

Sour Heart Productions is a videography production company based in Auckland, New Zealand. It was founded by filmmakers Paige Pomana and Jazz Dos Santos, who share a passion for artistic visual media and sound.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SourHeartProductions/
Instagram: @sourheartproductions
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/sourheartproductions

Louise Stevenson

Title: In Conversation with the Architect
Year: 2012
Length: 18.00
Format: Digital video

Documentary like, this work re-visits a recorded conversation with Stevenson’s then ninety year old father, Charles Stevenson, about the King George Sixth Secondary School in Honiara, Solomon Islands which he designed in 1964. He was an architect in the British Colonial Service in Nigeria and Solomon Islands during the 1950s to 1970s and played a key role in the implementation of modern infrastructure in those tropical colonies. In the film, their discussion is enacted through their hands pointing to more recent footage of the buildings fifty years later in 2011, while an edited text of their dialogue runs in parallel to this. Perspectives on colonial history and national independence weave through the conversation between father and daughter highlighting generational shifts and memory slippage. The work considers issues at stake in the inter-relationship between spoken word and materiality via conversation, architectural history and representational film imagery. Stevenson discusses this work in her paper (Re)constructing Tropical Architecture in Solomon Islands: Conversations with my Father,” Fabrications: The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, 24:2, 214-243
Thematic tags: Documentary, body, decoloniality, history, family, architecture, modernism.

Louise Stevenson’s practice spans broadly across drawing, painting, installation, photography and film. Her work predominantly engages with the position of being “outside” and a shifting relationship to place. She draws on non-Western ideas of navigation that locate a floating-fixed position on the Ocean. The formative experience of growing up as an expatriate in Honiara, Solomon Islands, as well as travelling and living in Europe, informs this interest. Projects include drawing series related to living in Budapest, Hungary, paintings exploring transparency and opacity, installations working with objects and materials referencing memory, and photographic and film work exploring the legacy of modern architecture in the tropics (includes MFA and Doctoral work).

Archival material, along with associated personal histories and their intersection with the public domain, informs Stevenson’s more recent work. An ongoing project involves the research and visual exploration of a substantial photographic archive gifted to Stevenson by her father who was an architect in the British Colonial service in Nigeria and Solomon Islands. This archive records tropical modern architecture’s trajectory from Africa to the Pacific, and a particular geo-political era of colonial and modernist history. Stevenson’s work attempts to re-represent this history within a framework of shifting perspectives while holding the irresolvable space of colonial history. Several projects stem from this research with on-going multi-form presentations across photography, film, installation and writing.


Lucy Aukafolau

Title: Invisible Territories
Year: 2013
Length: 08:55
Format: Single-channel video
Invisible Territories is a video work comprised of footage taken during Aukafolau’s first trip to Tonga with her father and uncle to their homeland in ‘O‘ua Ha‘apai. Adopting the role of an observer, her participation in the journey is guided not by personal way-finding intentions but rather attempts to situate and orient her experience of place within her father and uncle’s collective memory of ‘O‘ua. Throughout the installation there are glimpses of boat journeys at different times of the day capturing the activity at sea; the offload of goods and the boarding and disembarking of ferry passengers. The flurry of activity at sea brings to life the importance of the ocean as a means of travel and communication, evoking the prophetic visions of the late ‘Epeli Hauofa and his notion of a ‘Sea of Islands’ where Pacific islands are connected rather than separated by the sea.
– Epeli Hauofa. “Our Sea of Islands” in In A New Oceania: Rediscovering Our Sea of Islands, edited by Vijay Naidu, Eric Waddell, and Epeli Hau‘ofa. Suva: School of Social and Economic Development, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, 1993, 147–161.

Lucy Aukafolau (b.1991, Auckland, New Zealand) is a video artist currently based in Berlin. She completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at Elam School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland. Her practice is concerned with the theory of psychogeography and its relationship to the physical actions of navigation, travel and negotiation of space that reveal new territories and experiences.


Sonja van Kerkhoff

Title: Wrapping for a Marginal Citizen
Year: 1994
Length: 13:26
Format: SVHS (undigitised)
Credits: Music: Michel Verheecke (Belgium)
Voice: Sonja van Kerkhoff
Actors: 6 children.

A quasi-self-portrait of an artist and mother of young children where I use my own art objects as as backdrops or elements to complement the narrative. The children’s actions extend the narrative. Two voices: a pessimist and optimist ‘converse’ as images of eggs played with, being forced into transparent egg-cups, being eaten and being broken merge between images of my art objects being played with by the children. The “Wrapping”, a long cloth bearing images of a baby with text directed at the viewer, occurs and reoccurs throughout the video, reminding us of the dichotomy of the spectatorship of art

Sonja van Kerkhoff is a New Zealand artist based in the Netherlands and Aotearoa. She uses diverse materials and media to produce lyrical work often with a conceptual edge.”My works are narratives as aesthetic experiences in sound or vision, whether in static, interactive or time-based media.”


Moving Image Archive is a RM Gallery and Project Space project
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