10 APRIL 2017
Visual Arts Editor — Hanahiva Rose Editors — Tuioleloto Laura Toailoa and Tim Manktelow
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Contact — email@example.com 04 463 6766 Level 2, Student Union Building Victoria University of Wellington PO Box 600, Wellington
News Reporters — J La, NCB, Ruby Alice, Sofia Roberts, Tim Manktelow
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Feature Writers — NZ's #1 art world bad girl, Hanahiva Rose, Laura Toailoa, Dan Kelly, Tasmin Prichard, Kahu Kutia
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Designers — Eun Sun Jeong and Ellyse Randrup
Artists — Samuel Ostermann, Nathaniel Gordon-Stables, Chevron Te Whetumatarau Hassett, Maddy Plimmer
Typefaces — Wedge by Bruce Rotherham, Adobe Caslon Pro by Carol Twombly,
Chief Sub-Editor — Georgia Lockie Distributor — Josephine Jelicich Section Editors — Annelise Bos (Podcast), Cameron Gray (Games), Finn Holland and Mathew Watkins (Film), Hanahiva Rose (Visual Art), Katie Meadows (Television), Kimberley McIvor (Books), Olly Clifton and Lauren Spring (Music), Sean Harbottle (Theatre) Contributors — Ben Leonard, Tessa Cullen, Rory Lenihan-Ikin, Anya Maule, Te Pō Hawaikirangi, Jasmine Koria, Cole Hutchinson, Henrietta Bollinger, Gerard Hoffman, Hannah Wee, Gus Mitchell, Livnè Ore, RB, Brooke Wilton, Hannah Patterson, Leah Dodd, Shariff Burke, Puck
About Us — Salient staff are employed by, but editorially independent from, the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA). Salient is a member of, syndicated, and supported by the Aotearoa Student Press Association (ASPA). Salient is partially funded by Victoria University students, through the student levy. Opinions expressed are not necessarily representative of those of VUWSA, ASPA, Service Printers, or the editorial staff. Complaints — Please email editor@ salient.org.nz and if not satisfied with response contact VUWSA. Salient — 10 April, 2017 Volume 80, Issue 6
CONTRIBUTORS & COLOPHON
CONTENTS Editors’ Letter.........................................6 Letters..................................................5 Notices.................................................5 Features NOTE TO SELF: HOW TO WIN AT THE ART GAME AND STAY IN YOUR LANE...............................8 — NZ's #1 art world bad girl
Dark Objects......................................14 — Hanahiva Rose Tangata o le Moana............................16 — Laura Toailoa
Disenchanted Prophets — Matakite Matekiri..............................................19 — Dan Kelly
Object Myth.......................................25 — Samuel Ostermann Page works and Responses Congratulations..................................29 — Maddy Plimmer Ignore, defer, and move on?................30 Mum with whakahuia.........................32 — Chevron Te Whetumatarau Hassett He tangata, he tangata........................34 — Kahu Kutia Where I stand, where I sit..................36 — Nathaniel Gordon-Stables
Where I stand, where I sit: Textures of us.....................................38 — Tasmin Prichard
News Art News...........................................41 General News....................................42 Prisoners locked up for 26 hour periods prior to riot............................44
Sad State of the Sector.......................45 Politics Political Round-Up.............................46 The Trump Front................................47 The Party Line...................................47 Columns Presidential Address............................48 VUWSA............................................ 48 Te Ara Tauira.....................................49 One Ocean..........................................49 Voices of V-ISA..................................50 VIC UFO...........................................50 Mauri Ora..........................................51 Token Cripple.....................................51 Super Science Trends..........................52 Arts Games................................................54 Television...........................................55 Podcast...............................................56 Music..................................................57 Film....................................................58 Food...................................................59 Books..................................................60 Notices Cont...................................... 61 Poem...............................................Back Puzzles...............................................62 Comic................................................63
ART GUIDE SADO Vol. 1 Journal Launch 5.30pm–6:30pm, April 11, at MEANWHILE (99 Willis Street) Volume One of SADO explores the relationship between the lived experiences of capitalism and anxiety in Aotearoa. Readings by Jordana Bragg and Hannah Mettner at 6.00pm. Between Moods — Jospehine Jelicich, Lauren Redican, and Tyler Jackson April 6–19, Toi Poneke Arts Centre Josephine Jelicich, Lauren Redican, and Tyler Jackson manipulate form and space through minimal sculptures and wall works. Look out, Fred! — Evangeline Riddiford Graham April 6–29, Enjoy Gallery Evangeline Riddiford Graham, using the structure of a perpetual canon, examines the archetypes and modes of storytelling that define contemporary mythmaking and classical texts. HURTS SO GOOD — Ryan Ballinger March 30 to April 13, Play_station (8 Egmont Street) New work from Ryan Ballinger RUNNING NEO-GEO GAMES UNDER MAME — Petra Cortright // Untitled (McCahon House Studies) — Shannon Te Ao // 100 Chairs in 100 Days — Martino Gamper // On Going Out with the Tide — Colin McCahon April 8 to July 30, City Gallery Wellington They finally got rid of Cindy Sherman.
WORK IN AMERICA 12 MONTH WORK VISA WWW.IEP.CO.NZ | 0800 443 769
If you don’t want to write for us — write to us! Salient welcomes, encourages, and thrives on public debate. Send us your honest feedback, be it praise or polemics. SUBJECT: MOVE UR BAR M8
Dear Silent It makes me annoyed to read that Tim Ward is saving student union venue as he was its architect of it demise putting that useless bar and counter in the middle of the hall to KO it as a venue as attempt drive the students down to the San Fran which he owns. However now Wellington is out of the circuit for many bands Tim has finally figured out to have a vibrant scene you need venues. It is neat that Tim now opens our student union up under his kind helping hand and profit. Where’s the student association in all this surely they could run the venue and make the union rock again!
SUBJECT: COMMUNISM OR CROSSWORDS Dear Crossword Master, I'm confused as to how Ranger, Bard, Monk, and Cleric are a hint to the Marxist ideal of a middle class — or the petite bourgeoisie. The Ghost of Stalin has never been so offended. Long live the crossword revolution, long live socialism. Kind Regards, Marxist Crossworder (6,5).
Letters must be received before 5pm on Tuesday for publication the following week. They must be 200 words or less. Pseudonyms are fine but all letters must include your real name, address, and telephone number — these will not be printed. Letters will not be corrected for spelling or grammar. However the Editors reserve the right to edit, abridge, or decline any letter without explanation.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line. Post: Salient c/- Victoria University of Wellington Hand-delivered: Salient office, Level 3, Student Union Building (behind the Hunter Lounge).
NOTICES ACADEMIC FREEDOM POLICY FORUMS
The university are holding forums on the Academic Freedom Policy at the following times: Kelburn: Tuesday, April 11, 3.30pm–4.30pm in HULT119 Pipitea: Wednesday, April 12, 10.30am–11.30am in GBLT3 Te Aro: Thursday, April 13, 12.40pm–1.30pm in VS LT2 All students and staff are welcome to attend.
4 MOVED NOT REMOVED: Keeping things fresh for this special issue, we’ve moved regular content (news, columns etc.) to the back.
EDITOR'S LETTER Thank you, to the artists and writers whose generous contributions have made this issue possible. Thank you to Laura and Tim. My favourite way to experience art is in print. It allows for easy return. Images are always loaded. They deserve questioning. So please, look through this issue and give weight to your own readings. A teacher once told me that the worst art is the art which doesn’t make you feel anything. She was wrong, I think. I always find the worst art the art that sets out to meaninglessly provoke. But that’s a harder line to define. What I mean to say is that I hope this issue engages you in conversation, or in argument, which is surely the least art should do. Go look at art. Or refuse to go look at art. Have strong feelings. Question the structures in which we consume art, the sponsors that make it possible, and the hierarchies that determine who we see and who we don’t. Or, if it’s all too much, just go to the openings. Drink the free wine. If you really hate the work, trip. Spill your drink on the bad art and leave before they issue you an invoice. — Hanahiva Rose
ARTS ISSUE 06 10 April 2017 FEATURES NOTE TO SELF: HOW TO WIN AT THE ART GAME AND STAY IN YOUR LANE — NZ's #1 art world bad girl DARK OBJECTS — Hanahiva Rose TANGATA O LE MOANA — Laura Toailoa DISENCHANTED PROPHETS — MATAKITE MATEKIRI — Dan Kelly ART Page 22-23: Salient Arts Archive 1. Academy Theatre (Close down) — August 1985 2. Stephen Bain + France Have, Lo Chambre D'Amour Part III 3. Topless Women Talk About Their Lives Prue (Willa O'Neill) & Mike (Shimpal Lelisi) step out Photo: Ann Shelton Page 25: Circuit Page Work OBJECT MYTH — Samuel Ostermann
* Presented by the artist and CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand
Page 26-27: Salient Arts Archive 4. Patricia Grace 5. Jenny Bornholdt — Robert Cross 6. Unknown PAGE WORKS AND RESPONSES Page 29: Congratulations — Maddy Plimmer Page 30: Response 1 — IGNORE, DEFER, AND MOVE ON? Page 32: Mum with whakahuia — Chevron Te Whetumatarau Hassett Page 34: Response 2 — HE TANGATA, HE TANGATA — Kahu Kutia Page 36: Where I stand, where I sit — Nathaniel Gordon-Stables Page 38: Response 3 — “ WHERE I STAND, WHERE I SIT”: TEXTURES OF US — Tasmin Prichard
NOTE TO SELF: HOW TO WIN AT THE ART GAME AND STAY IN YOUR LANE Written by NZ's #1 art world bad girl
The art world is a game. It is a game Have you trained? Are you ready to run the race? Do you own New Balances or Nike Frees? You have to be comfortable, because it’ll take decades to run the race and get to the top. Unless you're a WMA1 making cold af Simon Denny 1. White Male Artist. knock offs (let's be real ;)) There isn’t enough room for everyone, especially you. You need to at least have your Master’s, then run an elitist ARI that only promotes and supports you and your friends, but it’s ‘accessible’. Running this ARI 2 will help you get a dealer. 2. An ARI is an acronym for an Artist Run initiative. Market yourself. You're a product and so is your art. Curate your social media to reflect ‘success’ and ‘productivity’. Curate your social media to always look professional. Try and be a painter or a sculptor. Make ‘friends’ with up and coming young artists you can compete against. Never be vulnerable. Never be wild. Make ‘political’ apolitical art. Overlook bad behaviour. Take any instances of sexism, racism, or any kind of problematic behaviour towards you or your friends on the chin. Remember nobody will listen to you even if you get to the top. Conform. Perform. Win.
NZ's #1 art world bad girl REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY FUCKING WOLVES.3
3. Appropriated from Kanye West’s “Wolves” on The Life of Pablo, released by GOOD Music and Def Jam Records, 2016.
Avoid the older curator’s touchy hands at the post-exhibition drinks. ABUSE OF POWER COMES AS NO SURPRISE.4
4. Jenny Holzer (1980-), from the Truisms t-shirt series.
Remember these enlightened art industry elders know more than you even though many of them have no student debt, are Pākehā, and come from wealthy backgrounds. You must conform and perform. Never make a fuss or they will silence you. This is very important. Never forget your voice is not important nor should it be. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY FUCKING WOLVES.
Cut your hair into the curatorial bob. Wear a COMME des GARÇONS perfume. Wear Miss Crabb or Kowtow black. Invest in black. You need to stand out in the white cube. To live and work within the fine arts industry you must perform whiteness and class. You have to be rich to be successful. Unless you want to struggle. If your parents aren’t rich you will have to work ten times harder than everyone else. You will struggle. Don’t argue with your superiors about how unethical it is that you're working 20 hours overtime unpaid, when your casual contract stipulates that you are only supposed to work 30 hours not 50. When a middle aged Pākehā academic tries to bond with you as though you are the same just remember they are delusional and nod and smile.
When you feel pressured to make work about your indigeneity and subsequent trauma for the art institution just remember they need the KPIs 5 to ensure more funding and don't really have time to give Key Performance Indicators. a shit about your mental health.
NOTE TO SELF: HOW TO WIN AT THE ART GAME AND STAY IN YOUR LANE
NZ's #1 art world bad girl
Remember you must work for free or for nothing and crawl your way to the top. You're a little bug. You are nothing. Never forget. There are so many people who can take your place. Don’t feel upset when the white people around you pat themselves on the back for using token bits of te reo to discuss issues around race within a panel of white scholars. Scrape along the lower echelons of the art institution until you get to the top. There isn’t enough room for many at the top and don’t forget it. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY FUCKING WOLVES.
Don’t question the intentions of the Pākehā curator asking you to use your ‘indigenous voice’, despite you expressing your cultural incompetency and alienation. Art institutions and educational facilities are inherently problematised spaces, because of the ways in which capitalism intersects with class and race and immobilises certain people from attaining ‘success’. From the outside the art world seems like a glamourous critical space which is inclusive and the one industry in which artists are granted the freedom to create work challenging power hierarchies. You can be critical but never too critical. It's okay to make racist art if you are Pākehā and have a dealer or significant public funding.
Cash rules everything around me C.R.E.A.M. #getthemoney REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY FUCKING WOLVES.
Like universities, the art world functions inside a market economy. NOTE TO SELF: HOW TO WIN AT THE ART GAME AND STAY IN YOUR LANE
NZ's #1 art world bad girl
This dictates what kind of funding is available, but also whose work gets shown. The art dealer will protect its investment at all costs. Get an art dealer as soon as you can. Why do I feel so uncomfortable and intimidated in the art gallery? They are designed to be uncomfortable and intimidating. Art galleries are not safe spaces. These aren’t safe spaces. A safe space is a utopian idea, but something that you work towards. No art institution in this country is working towards this space. Galleries are inherently racist and classist spaces. Work 40+ hours a week to go to art school, to save up, and to place yourself in further debt. Why are all these art communities made up of ‘peer groups’ that are just groups of friends who don’t hold each other accountable? REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY FUCKING WOLVES.
Why are these groups are so exclusionary? They all attended the same monotonous trade school and debt-generating networking club. 6 Daniel S. Palmer, “Go Pro: The hyper-professionalization of the emerging artist.” Published September
6. 3, 2016, on ArtNews. http://www.artnews.com/2016/03/09/go-pro-the-hyper-professionalization-of-theemerging-artist/.
Isn’t the role of the ARI to challenge institutions? Why do all these ARIs emulate institutions? THE HYPER PROFESSIONALISATION OF THE ‘EMERGING’ ARTIST To be an emerging artist is to be a business. To be an emerging artist is to be complacent and compliant in these structures of power.
NOTE TO SELF: HOW TO WIN AT THE ART GAME AND STAY IN YOUR LANE
NZ's #1 art world bad girl
An ARI is not meant to emulate the institution, but it does. How do you even begin to challenge this? You can’t, so fall in line. Auckland ARI charges artists to use their space. Takes a percentage of the sales. Makes artists provide their own drinks and food. Remember it's not a dealer gallery if its artist run ;).
They don't even throw you a party. Shoulder tap your friends and don’t charge them anything ;). It isn’t elist if you are working for the ‘community’ aka your group of friends.
Feeling uncomfortable about your privilege? Just ask a group of women to perform emotional labour to make you feel better! REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY FUCKING WOLVES.
Remember when there’s no accountability in your ‘community’ aka friend group, then you can get away with racist, classist, and other toxic behaviour, because everyone will support you ;). Don’t speak out about any of this behaviour, because this industry is designed to crush and silence you into submission. No one will listen to you or support you. Remember if you experience racist behaviour no one will support you because it might ‘defame’ a Pākehā artist. The safety of Pākehā artists is more important than your safety, especially if the ‘community’ you're in is a group of friends. Remember all the emotional and professional support you give ‘friends’ running an ARI will mean nothing to them if it means upsetting the ‘community’, aka the friend group. Remember to invite the industry heavyweights, aka problematic Pākehā curators, to your events, because every interaction is a business meeting and you need to get inside these institutions in order to find a dealer. NOTE TO SELF: HOW TO WIN AT THE ART GAME AND STAY IN YOUR LANE
NZ's #1 art world bad girl
Don’t trust anyone. The art world functions on individualism. The art school encourages this individualism. Individualism is rooted in neoliberalism and the art world is committed to maintaining these power structures. Often ‘friendships’ you think exist don’t. These ‘friendships’ are your networks. If you are competing against each other for these small opportunities one of you will be the loser, because only one of you can win. You don’t have friendships in the artworld. They don’t want you to win.7 They don’t want you to be critical. They DJ Khaled. Snapchat, 2015. don’t want to be accountable. Never challenge any of the institutions or the power structures. They want you to be quiet. They will silence you and never forget. No one will protect you or back you if you say things publicly that people only dare say behind each other’s backs. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY FUCKING WOLVES.
Remember you work in an industry where there are no jobs for you when you graduate from university, unless you play this game and dance with the devil. If you dare to be this transparent you will be deemed ‘high risk’ and you become a ‘bad girl’. Your male peers might benefit from such gendered branding, but you won’t. They don’t care if you don’t identify as ‘female’. They don’t care about you at all. They want you to be be quiet and make quiet art about nothing. If you stay in this industry you will never be able to decolonise, because there is no room for that unless it’s hot in the market rn. You are nobody. Conform. Perform. REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY FUCKING WOLVES.
NOTE TO SELF: HOW TO WIN AT THE ART GAME AND STAY IN YOUR LANE
DARK OBJECTS WRITTEN BY HANAHIVA ROSE
Shadows are everywhere in Dark Objects. Curated by Faith Wilson, 2016 Blumhardt/ CNZ Curatorial Intern at Dowse Art Museum in Lower Hutt, the show features work by Hana Pera Aoake, Clara Chon, Hye Rim Lee, Huni Mancini, Natasha Matila-Smith, Sorawit Songsataya, and Jade Townsend.
All the artists are people of colour. To be other — to be coloured — is to be watched. The shadows, usually refuge, are put on display. In the shadows the weight of knowledge and suppression and the suppression of knowledge becomes lighter. Shadows take up all the space they please. Here our image becomes more malleable. The umbra is the shadow’s innermost and darkest section. The source of light is blocked by the shadow’s living self, its three dimensional other being — the occlusion. Stand within the umbra and experience total eclipse: the object’s most opaque reflection. The “dark object” is what the wall text describes as “artwork and thought that favours difference, texture, synthesis, hybridity, immediacy, agency, dislocation, indigeneity, sovereignty, queerness. It resists outmoded readings, and beckons you to engage with its complexities, to sit with the tension, find new ways of seeing.” The dark object possesses a cosmology. It exists in the past, the present, the future. It cannot be rendered static. It contains many histories within its physical form. When I think of the dark object I think of the ethnographic museum, which is so adept at muting the ephemeral and animate voices in their collection by privileging connections-in-difference over other forms or vessels of knowledge, never trusting the indescribable and simply known. Shadows can be manipulated. Ethnographic shadows lean toward the penumbra, diffusing otherwise defined lines. There are many ways histories can be mythologised in the harsh light of the vitrine. Museum and gallery settings pose a challenge: how do we represent the dark object without denying its multiplicity from within institutions that historically do just that? Is addressing this challenge a decolonial aim, a postcolonial aim, or something else entirely? De: to reverse the action of a verb. To decolonise: revert back to a state of the pre-colonial. Post: in the time after. The postcolonial: the time after the dispossession of land, culture, and identity. To decolonise would, then, entail a systematic undoing of the systems of oppression that colonialism represents. The postcolonial seems equally inadequate: this dispossession shows no signs of waning and even if it did, its incisions have left scars. I’m looking for something with less temporal markers, something that exists right now, a structure by which we can unravel the threads that tie us to our colonial history while moving forward, not back.
Dark Objects speaks to that undefined moment, the present as more than in-between, which Wilson identifies as a site of “cracks and tensions.” The exhibition is staged upstairs, in the Blumhardt Gallery: carpeted in dark grey, with cinder block walls, functionality rules. Just before the exhibition’s entrance is Jade Townsend’s Yass Boo Slay. Large polystyrene letters patchworked over with colourful iron sponges spell “SLAE”. They hang from the ceiling by red string. Floating against a white wall, a spotlight beams on them so that their shadow sits just below them, offset to the left. We have two versions of “SLAE”: the artifice and its intangible umbra, a refracted reality. In a 2014 interview Nicki Minaj spoke of the use of the word “yasss” in her song “Yasss Bish”: “When I watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race, I live for the way they speak. Females, we adopted it and it makes us feel like very cocky and very just like sexy and feminine. So saying ‘yasss’ as opposed to ‘yes’ it’s just putting a billion times more attitude on the word ‘yes.’” 50 years earlier, in 1964, Susan Sontag published “Notes on Camp”. She described Camp as being “one way of seeing the world as an aesthetic phenomenon. That way, the way of Camp, is not in terms of beauty, but in terms of the degree of artifice, of stylization.” Sontag’s “aesthetic phenomenon” is a term first coined by Nietzsche when he wrote, in 1872, that “it is only as an aesthetic phenomenon that existence and the world are eternally justified.” It is not only the world, but also the self that must be aestheticised and manipulated: art for more than its own sake; art that doesn’t wait for history to move around us but instead offers the opportunity for new ways of self-definition; a new stylisation of the real. The aesthetic phenomenon derives from reality, reflects reality, but is not reality in and of itself. There is a possibility in the not-quite-real or the not-yet-real, a sense of potential. The aesthetic phenomenon speaks to the site of tension Dark Objects sits within, creating a present that does not conform to expectations of an applied and totalising history. Moving into the exhibition we encounter Townsend’s second work, Plazzy Gangster, a PVC, spray painted catwalk that extends down the length of the gallery, a promenade on which we can all be put on display. The gallery visitor’s ritual of looking and only looking, the silent circumambulation of the cube, is obstructed. The physical intervention on the space, exposing the once neutral floor plan of the gallery as something more calculated — a catwalk — re-imagines the viewer as subject. Here, visibility is a mode in which absence becomes presence and we, the otherwise invisible observer, are forced to consider the space we occupy. In Hana Pera Aoake’s The Imposter Sydrome, placed at the back of the gallery, the artist’s absent body is represented by a long-sleeved shirt and tote bag which were worn during a performance on the opening night. The shirt has printed on the front, “my ancestors were guided by the stars and travelled from Taiwan across the Pacific as far as the Americas to Hawai’i then
all the way to Aotearoa 800 years ago,” and on the sleeves “my blood is not diluted.” Hanging below it, the tote reads “Robert Leonard’s Tote Bag.” Four narratives converging into one: the arrival of Polynesian people to New Zealand; Aoake’s cultural identity; the performance; the art world — this is Aoake’s inhabited experience. There is a sense in which the viewer enters a world not yet lived in, a sense of unease. Clothes and jewelry hang unworn. A 3D printed plastic red crown, too large for any human head, looks as though it has come straight out of of a video game. Kim Kardashian greets us on entry, her ever-identifiable likeness hand painted onto a leather jacket by Clara Chon. Black paint on white hide, Kardashian is an unreal reality, the totally unattainable, pop culture’s least favorite and most successful self-made icon. Across the room, Hye Rim Lee’s half human/half bunny cyborg TOKI reigns over Black Rose Queen. Inhabiting a kingdom of shattered glass, TOKI, the image of digital desire, refracts the darkly subjective gaze we place upon her. Shadows don’t merely reflect the object, they constitute its darkest self. In the shadows exists the dark object. Difficult to decode, its voice rests in a process of identification and de-identification, insisting on the particularity of the viewer's experience. Dark Objects allows the works on display their autonomy by disrupting the established organising gaze, giving little and taking a lot; by, to borrow from Irit Rogoff, “[pursuing] a mode of participation that [has] not been invented for them through the good intentions of those who determine the means of participation and the modes of representation.” Dark Objects runs at Dowse Art Museum until July 23. Free entry. 4
TANGATA O LE MOANA WRITTEN BY LAURA TOAILOA Moving from South Auckland to central Wellington, the decrease of Pacific culture/language/people I saw daily was a culture shock. Living in the CBD, I didn’t know where to go to find Pacific culture near me. I found solace at the Tangata o le Moana exhibition at Te Papa Tongarewa. In a city that felt so overwhelmingly white (after living in Manurewa for ten years), here were images I recognised and music and voices that sounded like home. However, not everything here was familiar and not all that was familiar stayed that way. Near the entrance of the exhibition stood the life sized bull made of corned beef tin cans — Pisupo lua afe by Michel Tuffery (which is currently being tended to by kaitiaki so not on display). It was weird to see pisupo cans as ~art~. Pisupo, for me, was always quintessentially Samoan, but not as political and cultural commentary, or even something pretty to look at. It’s
Tangata O Le Moana
for eating. It’s fried with onions and accompanied by rice or taro. Whole boxes of it are gifted ceremoniously, announced by tulāfale, which cemented its Samoanness. It wasn’t high brow culture. It was just… pisupo. And yet, here it was, with text on the wall next to the sculpture informing me that the first common canned foods brought to the Pacific were pea soup, which is where the name corned beef — pisupo — is derived from. For me, this was groundbreaking. I’d never imagined a Samoa without pisupo. I never thought of pisupo as an introduced colonial object. What does it mean when foreign commodity becomes local, even “traditional”, culture? Throughout the exhibition, there are artifacts and narratives that seem typical of a museum: indigenous tools and artifacts, stories of migration, and traditional tatau (tattoo). But then there were also things I didn’t think belonged in a museum: customised t-shirts with famous logos given a satirical “island twist” to them, a big music player, and a white ie faitaga and suit jacket that Samoan pastors wear. These aren’t part of history, I thought, this is just what we’re wearing and listening to now. Just go to Manurewa, Otara, or Porirua, and you can see and hear these things. Why are they in a museum? Sean Mallon, curator of Tangata o le Moana, responded to these sentiments by addressing that museums had a bad habit of treating Pacific cultures as exotic and dying out. “Tangata o le Moana is a critique and an intervention of how history is constructed in this country. Pacific people have played a huge role in shaping New Zealand as we know it today, in ways people don’t know or understand. We want to tell those stories.” There were stories from and about parts of the Pacific I’d never heard about. At the time, my knowledge of the Pacific was limited to Polynesia and Fiji.* There’s a video about New Zealand’s exploitative phosphate mining in the Kiribati island of Banaba. This phosphate was used as fertiliser for NZ agriculture. Katerina Teaiwa narrates over the video footage that New Zealanders often don’t know, or forget, what it took to feed the sheep that NZ’s national economy and identity depended on. To make room for the mining, Banaban people were relocated to Rabi Island, Fiji. Post-mining, much of the land is uninhabitable. When people’s understanding of the world and their being is tied to their land, relocation is more than a change of scenery. Generations later, there is much work done and being done to reclaim not only what is left of their land — only a skeleton of what once was — but also social structures and cultural heritage. In the other side of the room stand panels with different videos of the generation before us, talking about their experience of living in New Zealand in the ’60s and ’70s. It was moving to see the faces and hear the voices of the older generation who fought to make changes that have benefitted New Zealand as a whole, and consequently my life. Will ‘Ilolahia of the Polynesian Panthers speaks about how they fought on behalf of Pacific people who didn’t know their basic tenancy rights, especially throughout the dawn raids. This was before the Tenancy Tribunal existed, which Will said was actually birthed
Tangata O Le Moana
out of their group. There is a difference between learning history through reading a textbook or a journal article and hearing it directly from the sources themselves. It felt like I had direct access to these people, except I didn’t. I could look into their eyes and see the experience, fatigue, and persistent strength in it, but they couldn’t look into mine. It was a strange feeling of simultaneous immediacy and distance. There is a little section where you’re almost boxed in between three adjacent walls. The walls are covered with photos of brown bodies in military uniforms from the two World Wars. The audio on repeat are the names of those soldiers who were able to be identified. As people from British territories, these islanders died for the Allies. We were on the same side. A few floors down, there’s an exhibition with larger-than-life sculptures of soldiers and a nurse who were affected by the Gallipoli campaign, New Zealand’s major involvement in the first World War. The scale of the Pacific’s involvement in this exhibition is one line: “Without a shot being fired, we took Samoa — a German territory on our doorstep.” But up here, in this small booth-like section on Level Four, you can hear the names of Pacific blood that died for New Zealand. I began to wonder whether these men were heroes or just pawns in someone else’s game, but then I just broke down in tears. Because these names were someone’s son, grandson, maybe even husband, or father. It’s hard to think critically when crying. I asked Sean if he thought museums could be critical of society or if they were just there to provide information, and he answered, “there is definitely room for museums to become political spaces — to provoke thought, critique society, be reflective, and shift people’s thinking.” Agnes Mary Eti Iuala, in one of the video installations in the exhibition, states that “as soon as you walk the street — you’re a political entity.” Sean reiterated this when he said that “museums aren’t neutral places — they’re places where sex, gender, culture, and class all intersect, making them complicated places. There’s a range of views, people, and politics that bring out what you see in the museum. We’re not the only ones doing it. There’s work around LGBT lives, the history of contraception, refugees, protests, the rights of children (which isn’t talked about that much). We’re working on collecting works on climate change in the Pacific. Museums can be great resources for social and political issues.” For Sean, there’s sometimes this misconception that curators know everything about their field of expertise, “But the truth is we’re always learning from the communities we work with. We have to become good facilitators, because we don’t know everything. We have to keep learning, maintain curiousness, keep digging. We can’t rest comfortably on what we already know.” What is chosen to be collected, preserved, and displayed speaks to what is considered to be valuable. Walking through this exhibition I questioned why there’s a t-shirt from the Royal Family dance group displayed next to old forms of weaponry and a kava bowl. I felt like I gained more questions than answers, but the knowledge I did gain both weighed heavy on my
Disenchanted Prophets — Matakite Matekiri
heart, and inspired me to live in a way that contributes positively to the lives of Pacific people as well as New Zealand as a whole (nothing much). I liked the noise dispersed through the exhibition. The audio visual displays, people drumming on the pātē, and kids not using their inside voices, all made Tangata o le Moana feel alive. Unlike the awkward silence of empty white rooms, walking through this exhibition (and the rest of the museum) didn’t feel like walking on eggshells. There are school children, families, and loners (like me) walking around. But was what I was experiencing “art”? Or was I just walking through an interactive history book? Should I treat what I see differently to if I was standing in a silent white room with people standing in the corner (who I never know if we’re allowed to speak to)? Is art something for institutions or qualified professionals and academics to define? Or is art in the eye of the beholder? Se ka’ilo ia. *Is Fiji part of Polynesia or Melanesia? What use are these labels? Are they still relevant? 4
DISENCHANTED PROPHETS — MATAKITE MATEKIRI WRITTEN BY DAN KELLY In 1984, having made it all the way from Ngāruawāhia, the hīkoi to Waitangi was stopped just south of their goal. Police barred the bridge to the treaty grounds; only a delegation could proceed. The answer was definitive, an extension of the kotahitanga (oneness of purpose) movement that had brought the different groups together: “All of us or none of us.” No one crossed the bridge that year, a moment captured on film by Gil Hanly, but, as the exhibition Disenchanted Prophets — Matakite Matekiri shows, such moments were symbols that extended far beyond the physical. The exhibition, on display at the Waikato Museum until April 23, is an initiative from the recently opened Te Kōngahu — Museum of Waitangi. Focusing on protest, it draws from the work of four Pākehā photographers (Mark Adams, Bruce Connew, Gil Hanly, and Ans Westra) and one Māori photographer ( John Miller, of the Ngaitewake-ki-te-tuawhenua, Uritaniwha, and Ngāti Rehia hapū of Ngāpuhi), seeking to trace the legacy of Waitangi, the treaty it’s home to, and the protests it has galvanised. In a world saturated with images, it can be easy to gloss past them, but the pull that the room effects is one that speaks to its poignancy, both in terms of the images themselves, but also “the living protest” that their collection forms. There is mana here, sacrifice of the realest kind. The exhibition documents the changing face of protest at Waitangi, showing a side rarely covered by mainstream media — not only moments of confrontation but also of intimacy, the community that drives them. In Bruce
Disenchanted Prophets — Matakite Matekiri Features
Connew’s photo from the 1984 hīkoi, walkers stretch, karate-style, on the side of the road, equally serious and self-deprecating. Another, by John Miller, shows protest group Ngā Tamatoa (Young Warriors) and their supporters in 1972, sprawled in front of the wharenui at Waitangi. The next year they would wear black armbands, call the Treaty a “fraud,” and have footage of their clashes with police broadcast all around the country. However difficult these encounters, they have paved the way for much of what we see today. *** In 1940, at the centenary Waitangi celebrations, the government spoke of pride and unity, and newspapers referred to the Treaty as “the foundation of nationhood.” Not everyone felt the same. Despite having helped build the 30-metre long waka that was launched as part of the celebrations, Ngātokimatawhaorua, Waikato rangatira stayed away, and esteemed statesman Āpirana Ngata noted, “not everyone had something to celebrate.” It wasn’t until 1947 that the day became an annual event, with the navy erecting a new flagpole at the Treaty site. The first naval ceremony is notable for its absence of Māori. The following year there was one Māori speaker, and, as time passed, increasing Māori participation — although not always on the organisers’ terms. A continuing emphasis on the idea of “one people” provided an ideal platform for Māori to protest the shortcomings of what had been promised — and while Brash and co. may feel differently (a position that one can’t help but feel is deliberately blind), Ti Tiriti has never been about erasing difference. In 1973, a bill was passed renaming the sixth of February New Zealand Day. Although later overturned under Muldoon, the move, led by Labour MP Matiu Rata, was intended to separate celebrations of growing nationhood from issues surrounding the nascent Waitangi Tribunal. It was hoped that this separation would eventually build support for Māori Treaty rights. The 1974 celebrations, then, were to acknowledge New Zealand’s multicultural history and, with a royal visit on his hands, Prime Minister Norman Kirk planned a two and a half hour extravaganza, complete with New Zealand’s flag replacing the Union Jack, singing, dancing, and the (bizarre) pantomime of a giant moa laying an egg where the Treaty was signed. While the Herald couldn’t decide if it was “imaginative pageantry or tasteless vulgarity,” protestors were more sure. Alienation of Māori land and the broken promises it represented had yet to be acknowledged, let alone addressed, and it wasn’t until the 1975 hīkoi led by Dame Whina Cooper — Te Rōpū Matakite (‘Those with Foresight’) — that the issue reached the level of national consciousness. *** One photo from the exhibition, by Ans Westra, shows a group of protestors, Māori and Pākehā, outside the Treaty House grounds in 1982. In the background stands a line of bobby helmeted policemen; the protesters
Disenchanted Prophets — Matakite Matekiri Features
seem barricaded together. There are two visible signs. The first says: “AKE! AKE! AKE!” — echoing the famous call from the battle at Ōrākau (“E hoa, ka whawhai tonu mātou, Āke! Āke! Āke!” | Friend, we will fight on forever, forever, and forever!). The second is more colloquial, but no less relevant. It reads: “NOT ONE MORE BLOODY ACRE.” Another photo, by Gil Hanly, from Waitangi Day 1986, shows protesters facing off with police on the street outside Parliament. The focus that day was “Pākehā Responsibility” — reminding me of a paragraph written by Tim Shadbolt in the 1972 photobook by Ans Westra, Notes on the Country I Live In, just as valid today as it was then: “I know […] that everyone is a decent joker at heart. […] It’s just that because man lives under systems we have to treat each other according to our politics as well as human beings. Look around New Zealand. Lots of healthy, friendly people who aren’t causing much harm in themselves but who in their innocence, ignorance, and naiveté are causing so much harm. In a world filled with atom bombs, racism, and exploitation, being a good joker just isn’t good enough.” It wasn’t until the following year, 1987, that te reo would be recognised as one of New Zealand’s official languages—representing a key step forward in the march towards justice. Acknowledging and revitalising the language had long been a focus point for Māori activism. In 1972 the Te Reo Māori Society and Ngā Tamatoa presented 30,000 signatures in support of integrating te reo education in schools. Now, some 45 years later, the debate is still ongoing. I recall my sister describing the emotion of her te reo teacher when, in the first lesson, the over-subscribed class was asked to explain their reasons for studying the language; how, in response, the kaiako explained the shift, what it meant to her. While far from over, it is easy to be blind to the history of struggle, resistance, and mana that has brought Aotearoa to this point, but nothing happens without effort. As the banner in the 2002 photograph by John Miller reads: “The Treaty Always Speaks” — and yet for so long those in power were deaf. In my encounter with the exhibition — as part of a small hīkoi of my own, kayaking down the Waikato River — I felt a huge gratitude: for those pictured, for their sacrifice and struggle; for the photographers, for standing and recording these moments; for the curators, in recognising their totemic value. Through the slogans of protest past to more modern calls to “honour the Treaty,” Disenchanted Prophets charts not only the changing status of our founding document, but also those responsible for its increased recognition. If Bertolt Brecht is right in his assertion that art is “not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it,” then those who walked, talked, and stood up are the builders; this world is the house they built — and the struggle, as always, goes on. 4
IGNORE, DEFER, AND MOVE ON? My first reaction to Maddy Plimmer’s Congratulations, like (I suspect) many others, is to try to close the window and move on. This is clearly spam; just one of the dozens or hundreds of claims to my attention that I dismiss every day. Ignore, delete, move on. Then, on a second look, I recognise that there’s more to the image than there first appears. It does resemble an example of the vapid flotsam of the so-called information age — but it’s been rendered analogue, stamped imperfectly. The graininess emphasises the image’s singularity, and while the stamp presumably still exists, this iteration is flawed in ways that other iterations will never exactly match. All of this stands in opposition to the perfect replication of the digital image. Out of context, rendered subtly human through error, I encounter it as a small human gesture in the face of a society saturated in digital noise. It draws my attention to the effort of ignoring that I put into navigating that society, effort which I do my best to not notice. It suggests a desire for authenticity frustrated through only having access to massproduced material — a problem which is particularly suggestive if extended to the society as a whole. If all cultural production is sampling and remixing, how could anything be truly innovative? On the other hand, cultures clearly change. Is that purely a consequence of changing material conditions? Is it enough to turn this pop-up into a stamp, or is that just mashing together past and present, preserving the problems of both? How do we get to a future? Even this more critical and interested reaction, though, feels empty. The initial impulse — to ignore, defer, and move on — has been extended into a new generic response. Rather than categorising the piece as spam, I’ve categorised it as “art.” To do that, I’ve mobilised only knowledges which were familiar. I haven’t learned anything from this experience in its specificity; rather, I’ve taken a set of expectations and fitted the territory to the map. Just like my initial reaction, I’ve minimised my costs. To learn something or to have an experience that respects the specificity of the piece, perhaps I have to take it entirely seriously. I have to entertain the possibility that I am in fact the 100,000th visitor — that this isn’t a joke. I really am being congratulated. I’m able, through some effort, to make myself feel a vague sense of happiness at the prospect of winning something. Looking again, though, I realise I’ve misread the message; it isn’t actually promising me anything. It’s just congratulating me. There’s no prize. Somehow this doesn’t bother me, which is suggestive. Is it that I’m more interested in success for its own sake than the rewards it
Congratulations — Maddy Plimmer
might give? Perhaps being singled out from the crowd of 100,000 is itself the reward. Looking closely at the thin sliver of joy I’m feeling, I think it probably does subsist on that desire to be special. I can only sustain the feeling for a moment before the utopia falls apart. There’s a persistent sense of silliness to my attempt to read the picture naively, and it eventually “kicks me out” of enjoyment. Practical issues also quickly intrude; what about the other 99,999 visitors? Do they know that they’ve missed out? Perhaps the message is haunted by the ghosts of 99,999 other messages: “Condolences! This is not a joke! You are not the 100,000th visitor!” Look closely at the image of the happy face, and you might detect a guilty edge to its otherwise blissful expression. Still, I’m determined. I eventually settle into a kind of equilibrium, oscillating between a sense of success and the realisation of its meaninglessness. By now I’ve been looking at the page long enough that the looking becomes its own object; look long enough at anything and it turns into a mirror. My sense of meaninglessness in itself raises an interesting question; why is it meaningless? If it’s pointless because it doesn’t feel good — if I try to justify my disinterest on the basis of sensual pleasure — then I’m faced with a challenge. This is the experience I’m having. If I want to maximise my happiness, should I discard this moment and move on to the next, or should I plunge further into this moment and try to extract the most from it as I’m able? The question seems to turn on my expectations of other experiences, but there’s always an element of uncertainty in prediction. Perhaps I’ll discard this moment, feel disappointed, and move on to the next, only to feel the same sense of disappointment and continue on. One could spend a life doing that. Eventually I have to linger over an experience and decide to feel good about it — so why not this one? Like the haunted happy face, the casting of anything as ‘meaningless’ conjures the inevitably spectral figure of ‘meaning’. In the end, it’s impossible. The equilibrium doesn’t resolve into anything positive; instead, I gradually lose hold of it, and am forced to go elsewhere in search of meaning. Perhaps this is the point; by registering the utopian potential of the image, we’re brought into contact with its impossibility. Perhaps I have to learn to appreciate the process of searching for meaning; turn the search for something into its own object. Viewed in those terms, Congratulations might be recast as a stop along the way — a stage in an endless search.
HE TANGATA, HE TANGATA Written by Kahu Kutia When I was studying art in high school, it was very rare that I could find a Māori artist to inspire my research — rarer still to find a Māori photographer. Historically we have always been in front of the lens, categorised, fetishised by classical anthropologists, consistently portrayed by an external “other”. We were Victorian-style portraits in black and white, or primitive brown bodies crouched before a fire. We were tourism ads, heavily edited in bad taste, to lure tourists into meeting “the simple folk of a time gone by.” When I first came across Chev’s work, my first reaction was one of deep excitement. Here, FINALLY, I relished the moment of seeing someone who is young, who is Māori, in control of the image and the stories it tells. No longer a slave to the stranger and their pocket Pentax, finally someone to guide whakaaro Māori (Māori ways of thinking) in the work they are creating, and gifting to the world. Chev’s images are an insight into his whakapapa. He invites us in, and through the image we gather and share stories of his whānau, and his iwi (Ngāti Porou). Here, his Pākehā mother holds up a waka huia, a taonga made for her by Chev’s father. Raised into the sky, I feel a certain reverence for the piece, and what it means for telling the kōrero of one’s whānau. For me at least, there is a kind of deeply felt nostalgia. While these figures are not my own family, they are archetypal characters in whom I recognise my own loved ones. There is a word in Ngāi Tūhoe, “matemateaone”. The word speaks literally to how we all die by the same dirt, but more so than this, the word is something that is only recognised when felt. Some say it represents the land that we all eventually return to, and our duty to protect it. Some may say it invokes a shared humanity, and the recognition of people in the faces and actions of others. To feed others is to feed oneself, and to connect with a person is to connect with their tīpuna, their whakapapa, the land that fed and nourished them. E ai ki te kōrero, he aha te mea nui o te Ao? Ko te whakautu: “he tangata, he tangata, he tangata". He whakaaro tēnei ki roto i ēnei whakaahua. Mai i te huinga o te tangata ki te tangata, te kanohi ki te kanohi, ka puta mai te whanaungatanga, me ngā whakaaro hōhonu mō ngā iwi kē o te Ao. These are things I feel when I see Chev’s images. I see my own uncles and aunties, working on the marae. I see our kuia in their divalike glory. Our taonga, treasured and loved as they are, amongst the taiao (natural environment). There is a desire to connect and to whakarongo
Mum with whakahuia — Chevron Te WhetumatarauFeatures Hassett
(listen). The narrative is distinctly Ngāti Porou, an iwi of people who, as Chev proudly told me, were probably one of the first to occupy Aotearoa. In this image, I recognise my own Pākehā mother, and the deep connection she feels to Te Ao Māori, having carried and raised two Māori children of her own. In what ways are our Pākehā parents, our Pākehā whānau, weaved into the narrative of whakapapa Māori? I think there is a story to tell, if you look into these images deep enough. The story is one of colonisation, and of the modern Māori. Especially in art, that conversation has not been unaddressed. Ralph Hotere, Michel Tuffery, Robyn Kahukiwa, are all Polynesian artists who have successfully explored culture in modernity, and in diaspora. The interaction of Te Ao Māori and Te Ao Pākeha has a well documented conversation over many different realms of creativity. Nevertheless, these images offer something new to that conversation; a resounding statement that these people are here to stay. As a single image, this photo is emotive, a face raised to enlightenment in Te Ao Mārama. As a series though, this work becomes a narrative. The people of these images, clad in everyday clothing, seem finally comfortable to be in view. Photographed in places of significance, the ngahere, the moana, and on the marae, this is the revitalisation of Māoritanga on this land. Those paua eyes set deep in the waka huia glare at me. Inside them is a challenge and an invitation; pull fast into the currents or be swept away. It’s not the most traditional method of kōrero, but Te Ao Māori is definitely at least as cool as Chev is making it out to be. He kōrero kei runga mō te huinga tāngata ki roto i te ao. He whakawhanaungatanga ka puta atu, mai i te noho kanohi ki te kanohi. Koinei te āhua o ngā pikitia nei. Ko te mahi a te kaiwhakaahua, he mahi hononga. Māku e kī, ko te wero me whakanui tātou i ēnei mahi hononga, ngā mahi toi a te rangatahi Māori. Nā te mea, ko te rangatahi i tā i te ao kei waenganui, kei mua hoki, i a tātou. Tīhei mauri ora.
WHERE I STAND, WHERE I SIT: TEXTURES OF US Written by Tasmin Prichard
Spread across pink silk, mounted to a ceiling, is a conversation. Nathaniel Gordon-Stables has created a discourse. The projected image — his bare feet, twinkling upon homely, ’70s-patterned carpet — invites (the audience) into a private sphere. Nathaniel Gordon-Stables (Ngāti Kurī) is a fourth year Fine Arts student, and a working artist based in Wellington. Nathaniel is tangata ira tāne as well as takatāpui; a queer trans artist who spreads his work across topics of gender identity, te ao Māori, and intimacy with the self. —— In a softly-lit studio, Nathaniel and I sit and talk about his work.
Where I stand, where I sit is a multi-format piece suspended from the
high ceiling above us. An image is projected upon paper-thin, beigepink fabric screen. We see Nathaniel’s naked legs and feet, restless upon rather ugly brown carpet. During the video, Nathaniel undresses; his nondescript black shorts tossed aside, almost out of frame. At the end, Nathaniel’s feet carry him off-camera. A seam, ugly and wide, splits the screen at an irregular angle. At an early point in our discussion, I come to understand that Nathaniel’s work is about texture. His hands pull at his sleeves while answering my questions — and in his work, the act of touching is key. His work makes its home in the question: “what does it feel like?” Nate points to the billowing silk screens and tells me: “I wanted this fabric to be ‘skin-coloured’. I wanted it to represent my skin.” The material used to create the screen is milky, Caucasian. We laugh a little bit even though it’s not really that funny. We’re standing in the dark. Over and over, Nathaniel’s black shorts slip onto the off-brown carpet. Quickly, undressing becomes entirely commonplace. I watch it for a while, while Nate tinkers with a fancy, Masseyowned DSLR camera. To be honest, it’s hard to resist touching the hanging screens — Nate’s work leads us straight to our tactile senses. The fabric floats daintily in the studio draught. Despite being beautiful and ethereal, the screens aren’t perfect. The foremost is split by a crudely stitched cleft. I ask about it. Nate says: “the seam is about my binder — it’s something that holds me together.”
Where I stand, where I sit — Nathaniel Gordon-Stables Features
Dialogues of self-love and self-care are critical to those struggling in their body. This piece of art reflects intimacy with the self, focusing on rituals around clothing and skin. To Nate, nakedness and exposure are acute. As he tells me, Nathaniel is well acquainted with feelings of discomfort within his body. Expressed through unveiling his skin, Nate confronts the audience’s expectations of a queer body. And here it is, the unwritten, fundamental discourse: showing the trans* body without spectacle. More than this, however: Nate is in control of the audience’s gaze. Equally in control of the audience’s level of intimacy and scrutiny, his work shows the intimate rituals of his body, set against a familiar backdrop. He contextualises his body within the space. The overarching question here is: “how can I make my body feel safe?” There’s a strong sense that Nathaniel, and other local queer artists, are on the cutting edge of change and social progress. Nathaniel’s work comes from a new school of thought — the artist using the artist as a subject — creating conversations and statements through the body. He’s answering the question: “what does my body feel like?” Through ritual and process, Nate is describing his relationship with the self. I ask him why. “It’s about giving trans* and queer people the message that their bodies are powerful.” ——
Indulge in my vanity A space where my body exists to be free A whare you may or may not understand You belong here, with me Don’t mourn for our loss Kare they are with us Takatāpui they are with you — Nathaniel Gordon-Stables
VUWSA HAS HAD AN ART COLLECTION PAINTINGS, NOT BUBBLY, STOLEN ICONIC ARTIST DIES
NEWS EXECUTIVE OFFICERS TO BE PAID FOR THEIR LABOUR FAIRER FARES FINAL HURDLE BETTER LIVING (WAGE) EVERYONE LITTLE ALLEGEDLY DEFAMES FRAIL, DYING BILLIONAIRE MEN MIGHT TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY, FOR ONCE IN THEIR LIVES PRISONERS LOCKED UP FOR 26 HOUR PERIODS PRIOR TO RIOT SAD STATE OF THE SECTOR
POLITICS POLITICAL ROUND-UP THE TRUMP FRONT THE PARTY LINE
ART NEWS VUWSA HAS HAD AN ART COLLECTION
A motion to sell three art works owned by the VUWSA Trust passed at the Initial General Meeting last Wednesday. The three works include Mana Island by Don Binney, acquired by VUWSA in 1973 for $425, plus $50 for framing; Yellow Yantra by Wong Sing Tai, commissioned for $100 by VUWSA in 1970; and Western Desert, New Zealanders at Fort Capuzzo by Peter McIntyre, bought by VUWSA for an unknown amount after an exhibition on campus organised by their Art Committee. The previous executive voted to sell the artworks last year as they were purchased by, not donated to, VUWSA. Current VUWSA President Rory Lenihan-Ikin agreed with the decision. “The artworks were all acquired by VUWSA, so we are not risking any sentimental value that they would have had if they were donated.” “The most significant of the three artworks has gone down in value, not up, so we are better off investing the money back into things that are going to be of greater benefit to students.” In 2016 Mana Island was valued at $148,000, a drop from its previous valuation of approximately $300,000. Yellow Yantra was valued at $3,800 and Western Desert, New Zealanders at Fort Capuzzo was valued at $7,500. The three works are currently on loan to VUW until 2021 but can be returned to VUWSA with mutual agreement from both parties. They were held by the Trust but were a liability as the members
have no experience in managing artwork. They are not expected to appreciate and will be sold via auction. — Tim Manktelow
PAINTINGS, NOT BUBBLY, STOLEN Two paintings by Gottfried Lindauer were stolen from the International Art Centre in Parnell early on the morning of April 1. The paintings were snatched by two men after their stolen vehicle reversed into the gallery’s streetside display window. They then fled in a different vehicle, a white Holden Commodore, driven by a third person. Police recovered the stolen vehicle near the scene. The paintings, Chieftainess Ngatai-Raure and Chief Ngatai-Raure, are estimated to be worth between $350,000 and $450,000 each, and were on display at the International Art Centre before they were due to be auctioned last Tuesday. Gottfried Lindauer painted the pieces in 1884, and they were sold to a private buyer late 2015 by previous owner Gow Langsford. Lindauer was born in Bohemia in 1839 and arrived in New Zealand on August 6, 1874. His portraiture was influenced by trends in European art at the time and it was at the behest of his chief patron, Henry Partridge, that he painted numerous Māori leaders. In an interview with Radio New Zealand in 2016 Ngahiraka Mason, who curated The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand which included 120 works by Lindauer and just finished at Auckland Art Gallery on February 19, said “Lindauer was in a position where descendants were not. He met our ancestors.” “Had he not have painted these
we would be scrambling for that visual history in colour. We did not meet these people face to face, there are some living descendants who do have that memory […], but if not for photography we would not have their image, and if not for Lindauer we would not have their image in colour.” — Tim Manktelow
ICONIC ARTIST DIES American artist James Rosenquist died in New York on March 31 at age 83. Rosenquist was a pioneer of the Pop Art movement. He worked as a commercial billboard painter before garnering success in the 1960s for his large-scale paintings that drew together an eclectic mix of imagery from mass media and advertising. He distinguished his work from his contemporaries Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, stating, “I was never concerned with logos or brand names or movie stars… [or] ironic simulations of pop media; I wanted to make mysterious pictures.” Rosenquist was interested in images “common enough to pass without notice.” He leaves behind a body of work that renders a “blue-collar view of American things without mockery… with a deadpan literalness and a directness that suggested innocence," said art historian Judith Goldman. Rosenquist’s best-known painting is the F-111. Completed in 1964, this was an 86-foot long piece protesting US militarism in relation to the Vietnam War. Of the F-111, Robert Hughes from Time magazine, wrote “[it] affected people in a way few works of political art had done since the murals of Diego Rivera in the 1930s.” — J La
42 instead of the pay increase. Lenihan-Ikin responded that “there is only a certain extent to which having more members means less work,” and that “having more focussed roles is more effective.” The number of officers dropped VUWSA Executive Officers will now be paid minimum wage, after a from seven to six after a vote in 2013. Lenihan-Ikin framed the move as motion was passed at the VUWSA IGM last Wednesday affirming the signalling “a desire to move towards living wage employment” for VUWchange. Prior to the vote, the six officers SA. “It’s a process [...] from officers were each paid a $2,000 honorarium who are currently paid pittance, to for the year, and expected to work at paying them a sustainable wage, to least ten hours per week. This was set paying them a living wage.” VUWSA was one of the foundout in the VUWSA constitution. The need for the change was de- ing supporters of the living wage scribed as “an issue of access” by VU- movement, and continue to lobby WSA President Rory Lenihan-Ikin. VUW to become a living wage emAt the IGM, he reflected, “there are ployer. “If we want VUW to pay a students who wouldn’t be able to run living wage, it’s important that we are for these positions alongside the part leaders in this, too.” time work they need to do to fund — Brigid Quirke themselves to study.” “As the primary body for students, VUWSA should be leading FAIRER FARES FINAL the way to create representative stuHURDLE dent roles everyone can access.” The full cost of the move is $37,500 per year. VUWSA have been “in talks” VUWSA are urging students and with VUW since 2016 about an in- ratepayers to make submissions to crease in VUWSA’s Service Level the GWRC to secure fairer fares for Agreement to fund the initiative. 2018. However, if VUWSA are not sucAfter a five-year long battle for cessful in gaining financial support student fares on public transport, the from VUW, Lenihan-Ikin assured GRWC made a commitment to conthe crowd that “we have enough sider the issue in the Consultation money in the budget to cover the cost Document for the 2018 Annual Plan. without putting any services at risk.” VUWSA want to see this “comAt the IGM, individuals from the mitment to consider” translate into crowd offered words of support for a categorical statement that the the decision, pointing to the valuable GWRC will fund student fares in work that VUWSA does. the Final Annual Plan — which Ali Leota, who is involved with would mean a 50% discount on pubthe Victoria University Pasifika Stu- lic transport for all tertiary students. dents’ Association, commended the VUWSA have launched a cammove. “I’ve worked alongside VUW- paign website, www.fairerfares.org, to SA and see the hard work their of- enable people to make submissions ficers put in. I think it’s an important on the draft annual plan. step.” The campaign has gained signifiOne member of the crowd asked cant support, including from Nationif the pressure on officers could be al MP Chris Bishop, Vice-Chancelalleviated by hiring another officer, lor Grant Guilford, and Mayor Justin
EXECUTIVE OFFICERS TO BE PAID FOR THEIR LABOUR
News NEWS Lester, who have reflected on the need to make tertiary education as accessible as possible. As said by student and Fairer Fares advocate Ali Leota, “a 50% discount for tertiary students on public transport is about removing barriers to achievement and it is about providing an equal opportunity for all Wellington tertiary students.” — Ruby Alice
BETTER LIVING (WAGE) EVERYONE All Wellington City Council (WCC) contractors will be getting a living wage from July 1 2017. In September, WCC Mayor Justin Lester pledged to roll out the living wage to contractors working for WCC. Initially, only staff working directly for the council were impacted, with contractors in cleaning and sanitation roles excluded. In March, the cleaning contract for WCC was put out to tender with no mention of living wage conditions. However, an announcement on April 2 confirmed that all Wellington City Council workers, including contractors, will receive the living wage, which is currently set at $20.20 an hour. Wellington Region Living Wage Coordinator Lyndy McIntyre said the Council was the first to make a commitment to the living wage. Auckland, Christchurch, Hutt City, Porirua, and the Greater Wellington Regional councils are all currently considering becoming living wage employers. Lester told Salient: “I think there’s growing support for the idea that people working hard for their community should be paid a decent wage and I think the public understands why councils are looking at this.” Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford stated that while VUW isn’t specif-
43 ically a living wage employer, “over 98% of permanent staff are paid at or above that rate.” This does not include those contracted to work at VUW by a third party. Guilford told Salient that many factors need to be considered in the upcoming renewal of cleaning contracts, including the quality and cost-effectiveness of the work, and whether companies are “paying people fairly.” He pointed to a need for “balancing not putting too much cost pressure on students and taxpayer” with the need to pay employees a livable wage. — NCB
down the international corruption rankings.” Before going into court, Little was reluctant to answer questions about the trial, stating “I’m not going to comment on the merits of the case or anything that might reflect on the merits of the case.” He said that we would cover all costs that arise from the case, based on a “personal view about taking personal responsibility.” The Hagamans had given Little a deadline in 2014 to apologise and retract his comments. Little refused at the time. However, in February, Little offered an apology and $26,000 towards legal fees, which was rejected. A further offer in March LITTLE ALLEGEDLY of $100,000 — which would have DEFAMES FRAIL, been funded by taking out a loan DYING BILLIONAIRE against Little’s family home — was also rejected. “It was the most I could offer,” said Little. The Hagamans Andrew Little appeared at the High claim to have spent $215,000 in Court in Wellington last week for a legal fees, which Little has described civil jury trial regarding comments as “excessive.” he made about Scenic Hotel Group In Court, Little reported feeling founder Earl Hagaman and his wife “frustrated” by the Hagaman’s refusLani Hagaman. al to accept his offers. “As I've said, The Hagamans made a $101,000 once the Auditor-General did her donation to the National Party in inquiry, I accepted her conclusion 2014. Little’s comments linked this there was no impropriety and I was donation to the tender won by Scenic happy to give them a public apology.” Hotel Group to manage the Matavai Earl Hagaman was unable to resort in Niue, which receives fund- appear in court, as he was suffering ing from the New Zealand Govern- from heart failure and a pre-leukemic ment. blood disorder. He has also broken his The Hagamans’ lawyer, Richard pelvis after a fall. Fowler QC, said that a media state“My husband has a matter of ment issued by Little in 2014 stated, weeks to live and I'm sitting in Wel“John Key must come clean on how a lington fighting a battle I should not donor who gave more than $100,000 have to fight at all… and all it would to his party during a tender process have taken was an apology.” won a hotel management contract Lani Hagaman said that she was which led to a government-funded pursuing the case in order to clear $7.5 million upgrade to a resort.” her husband’s reputation, saying that He said that Little used phrases Earl deserved the right to “die with such as “today’s revelations stink to dignity.” high heaven,” and “this looks like She denied that she was trythe latest in a line of questionable ing to bankrupt Little, arguing “my deals from John Key's government husband's reputation is worth every which has seen New Zealand slide penny.”
News The trial was still ongoing at time of print. — Brigid Quirke
MEN MIGHT TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY, FOR ONCE IN THEIR LIVES A breakthrough in male contraception has emerged from a university startup in rural India. The procedure, which boasts 98% effectiveness, involves injecting a polymer gel into the testicles which damages sperm through a positive charge. The procedure was invented by Sujoy Guha, a 76-year old Indian biomedical engineer. It is reversible and has no known side effects. According to figures released by the United Nations, only 8% of women worldwide rely on their male partner using a condom for contraception. Guha sympathises with this, stating to a reporter, “why should the burden be borne by the female only? There has to be an equal partnership.” There has been little interest from major pharmaceutical companies in funding the procedure. Herjan Coelingh Bennink, a gynecology professor who helped develop the contraceptives Implanon and Cerazette, blamed the gender makeup of these companies, saying “if those companies were run by women, it would be totally different.” Guha licensed the technology to the Parsemus Foundation, a USbased nonprofit, to help establish a market outside India. He registered a startup, IcubedG Ideas Pvt., to pursue the technology domestically. A recent study published by the University of Copenhagen confirmed the link between the contraceptive pill and depression, claiming that there was “a significant risk,” especially in teen users. — Sofia Roberts
PRISONERS LOCKED UP FOR 26 HOUR PERIODS PRIOR TO RIOT Prisoners were locked up for 26 hours consecutively on alternate days prior to the 2013 riot at Spring Hill Corrections Facility (SHCF), according to a recently released report from the Department of Corrections. The riot occurred on June 1, 2013, and was widely regarded as the worst incident of its kind in 15 years. It involved 27 prisoners from Unit 16B who damaged prison property and lit fires. Four prison staff received serious injuries and 12 prisoners were injured. The report states that “the most significant precipitating factor contributing to the initiation of the riot was the availability and consumption of home brew by prisoners in the unit.” However, No Pride in Prisons spokesperson Emilie Rākete argues “the release of this report [after an Official Information Act request] shows there were much more complex reasons for the riot than Corrections was willing to admit publicly.” “From the information we have received, it is clear that the riot was largely a response to prison conditions.” SHCF was opened in 2007 and had an initial capacity of 650 beds. Over 2008–2009 the retrofitting of double bunks increased the facility’s capacity by 52% (from 674 to 1027 beds). The additional inmates included a significant number of high security prisoners. Department of Corrections’ Chief Custodial Officer Neil Beales, who led the inquiry, said to Salient that the increased capacity “fundamentally impacted the operational philosophy of the prison and some options were looked at to increase the physical security of the site to manage these changes [e.g. changes to internal design of the yards and pods] but they weren’t accepted by senior management at the time.” Following an incident with home brew in Unit 16B in January 2013, the report states that management implemented “a very tight and restrictive regime” with “a third of the [REDACTED] being locked up, a third unlocked within the unit, and a third unlocked and sent to the exercise yard.”
Beales said that in the weeks preceding the riot “the units had moved to a 50:50 unlock because they weren’t putting the prisoners in the yards.” “Staff, in an attempt to be fair to the prisoners [...], were unlocking half of the prisoners in the morning (the other half would remain locked up) between 9.00am and 11.00am and the next day they’d get out between 1.00pm and 3.00pm.” “The unintended consequence is that every second day, if you get locked up at 11.00am and you’re not getting unlocked until 1.00pm, the time between that is 26 hours.” The Corrections Act 2004 states that “every prisoner (other than a prisoner who is engaged in outdoor work) may, on a daily basis, take at least one hour of physical exercise.” Beales said the regime did not break the law as “prisoners were out every day.” He added that the 26 hour lock up was longer than Corrections would have liked. “It’s not appropriate, it’s not best practice, and all it would do when you have a bunch of unmotivated prisoners [...] is possibly exacerbate any underlying tension in the unit.” Immediately after the riot, the Waikato Times reported “prisoners had 40 minutes to one hour each day for exercising outside of their cells, which included time to make phone calls to family.” Kylie Murray, who had a close friend in SHCF’s high security wing, was quoted as saying “when the prison officers went to put them into lockdown [before the riot] the boys stood their ground and said ‘Come on mate, give us a little more time outside’.” Beales said that SHCF was now “running very well” but would not rule out another incident occurring, as prison is a dynamic environment. On March 15, 2017, a press release from No Pride in Prisons stated “whānau of prisoners [in SHCF] contacted us with concerns about the treatment of their loved ones.” “All of the prisoners in one unit are being locked into their cells for 22 hours per day.” — Tim Manktelow
SAD STATE OF THE SECTOR The 2016 New Zealand Tertiary Education State of the Sector Survey, conducted by the Tertiary Education Union (TEU), “paint[s] a picture of a sector under pressure,” with respondents describing the situation as worsening in the last ten years. However, senior management from VUW have suggested that many of the problems highlighted in the survey are not major issues for this institution. The survey considers a wide range of tertiary education providers, including private and public institutions. Main factors identified include academic staff ’s lack of voice, unsustainable workloads, and stress and alienation. “The overall picture is one of staff coping as best they can to provide quality education in the face of increasing challenges.” The report reveals that completion rate requirements set by the Tertiary Education Commission have put pressure on staff to inflate grades, make assessments easier, lower standards of acceptance into courses, and turn a blind eye to cheating in some instances. 63% of respondents said they had come under more pressure in the past decade to pass a higher percentage of students. One respondent reflected, “the emphasis on successful completion rates is hurting education standards. Lecturers [are] under intense pressure to pass students by managers; leading to acts of shameful manipulation, low quality assessments and exams.” VUW Acting Vice-Provost Chris Eichbaum said that, although VUW were required to report to the Tertiary Education Commission on pass rates, this “has no influence on assessment decisions.” “The assertion that we are being influenced in our assessment practices by central government expectations goes to the heart of the integrity of this institution and is simply not true.” VUW’s academic policy provides that scaling decisions are made by the course coordinator, with reference to the head of school in instances
where the grade is scaled 10% or more. Scaling methods must “follow defensible principles; be appropriate to the underlying problem; be stated clearly and objectively; and be fair to all students.” The Education Act’s purpose describes “the freedom of the institution and its staff to teach and assess students in the manner they consider best promotes learning.” However, more than 50% of survey respondents stated that opportunities to influence decisions in their faculty, school service area, and decisions made by the council of their institution had become worse over the past decade. One respondent stated, “we have lost autonomy even over our teaching — our expertise. There is managerial micro-management everywhere. It is soul-destroying stuff.” Eichbaum reflected that “the university’s governance structure is predicated on a high level of staff participation, for example, on faculty boards through to the University Council, which have student and staff representation.” The Staff Workload Policy provides that “the allocation of work must be made in consultation with the staff member” and that “all reasonable attempts must be made to reach agreement with staff on their workloads.” The TEU said that the National-led government have been the root cause of many of these issues — as reflected by TEU Industrial and Professional Vice-President Phil Edwards: “successfully tackling the issues this report identifies isn’t just about individuals, it’s about addressing the problems National’s reforms have caused right across the tertiary education system.” — Brigid Quirke
46 46 rent admission that some may have died, albeit accidentally. With calls for an investigation coming from opposition parties, Hit & Run lawyers, and human rights advoThere will be no public inquiry into cates, it seemed likely that English Operation Burnham. would bow to public pressure. InThat is the latest official position deed, Hager and Stephenson sugfrom Prime Minister Bill English, gested that they had left the book's after receiving a briefing from New release until after John Key’s resigZealand Defence Force (NZDF) nation to allow English to investiofficials last week. gate without the political pressure of Calls for an investigation have his mentor’s career on the line. been mounting since allegations The timing of Hit & Run’s reof civilian deaths in two New lease was no accident. English was Zealand-led raids in Afghanistan given an opportunity to examine were published by Nicky Hager and these serious allegations before the Jon Stephenson in Hit & Run. election, and prove that he could Mr English said he made the take leadership where others had decision after reviewing evidence not. Instead, the status quo remains presented by the NZDF, including and New Zealand is still in the dark. video footage of the 2010 raid. He also said he was satisfied that those Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill killed in the incident were insur- The Māori Party is facing renewed gents, despite the NZDF admitting criticism of its proposed changes to that they did not know the names of the way Māori land is governed. the deceased. The government has been in the In response, Hager said that process of reviewing the law for the the government had bowed to mil- past six years and is now in parliaitary pressure. He also questioned ment with Te Ture Whenua Māori the independence of NZDF Chief Bill nearing its third reading. Lieutenant General Tim Keating, However, the Bill has been who English had trusted to provide controversial since its inception, evidence on the raids. drawing criticism from opposition Labour’s Andrew Little also re- parties and iwi leaders. newed his calls for an investigation, Many of the most controversial committing to an independent in- changes centre on how Māori land quiry if Labour is successful at the is rated and how it is taken under next election. the Public Works Act, two factors The Prime Minister’s announce- that led to substantial Māori land ment comes after a tense week of loss in the 19th and 20th centuries. developments in the case. Meanwhile, Labour has promised In a surprising turn, former to repeal the law if in government. Minister for Defence, Wayne Mapp, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri was revealed as a major source for drew attention to the purpose of the the book. Mapp was the Minister Bill, noting a significant change in in charge during the raids, but has wording from “protection” to “utilisince been critical of the NZDF’s sation” of Māori land. Whaitiri was handling of information and the also joined by New Zealand First in government response. criticism of the process of consultaThe NZDF’s story has also shift- tion with iwi leaders. ed substantially in recent weeks. An The Bill was also the subject of initial claim that no civilians were substantial Waitangi Tribunal inveskilled has now given way to the cur- tigations initiated by whānau and
Politics POLITICS hapū from Mataatua, Te Tai Tokerau, and Te Tai Rāwhiti. The Tribunal was critical of the Bill’s development, saying the government had shown it did not have sufficient support from Māori but intended to continue with the changes anyway. The Bill’s sponsor, Māori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell, contends that there has been a thorough consultation process throughout the country. Flavell says that many of the recommendations from iwi leaders were taken on board. Proposed changes are also putting a strain on the fledgling alliance between the Māori and MANA parties. MANA's Hone Harawira pulled no punches, calling the Bill a “poisonous and destructive cancer.” He said that the legislation paved the way for greater loss of Māori land to foreign investors, and cut off access to the Māori Land Court. The Māori Party has faced criticism of being out of touch with it’s constituency since first entering coalition with National in 2008. Those charges helped to land Labour an almost clean sweep of the seven Māori electorates in 2014 and reduce the Māori Party’s representation in Parliament to just two MPs. If Flavell is to remain in government past 2017, he can’t afford to prove his critics right. — Ben Leonard
THE TRUMP FRONT
You’d think that with the huge policy failure of the attempted healthcare reform, the blockade of the Muslim ban (TWICE), and the continued investigation into his ties with Russia (and his bestie 4 eva Putin), Trumpster would have learnt to keep his sticky little baby fingers out of the honeypot. But no (and we obviously should have learnt this by
now), how wrong can we be. In the past week, Trump has tried his (sticky) hand at this lil old thing called, uh, NEPOTISM. As you are probably well aware, (or maybe not, who would blame you for trying to stay are far away from American politics as possible), Jared Kushner, aka Trump’s vanilla son-in-law, was given the role of Senior Analyst in the Trump Administration in January. Already, this was a little on the shady side, especially because before 2017 Kushner had no experience in government, and is now in charge of this itsy-bitsy, insignificant little thing called “brokering peace in the Middle East.” Could probs do it in his sleep. But to top things off, in an unprecedented move, Ivanka Trump herself has officially been granted a place in the Administration this week. Trump-o has bestowed upon her (yuck) the federal role of “official advisor,” and has said she will be his “eyes and ears” in the White House. Imagine if ex-PM and everyone’s least favourite uncle John Key had suddenly said to Cabinet one day, “Hey team, woah — nice tie today Bill, blue is definitely your colour! Anyway, you guys know my super talented son Max? You probably follow him on Snapchat? Yeah so I’ve made him this super niche new role, Minister of Social Media and DJing! He’ll be my eyes and ears with those cheeky youths.” Chaos! Next thing we know, Barron Trump will become the Secretary of Privileged Children and Trust Funds. — Tessa Cullen
THE PARTY LINE The Tertiary Education Union recently released their 2016 State of the Sector Survey (“Education under Pres-
sure”) which includes responses from 1006 staff members and suggests "a sector under pressure" with "staff coping as best they can to provide quality education in the face of increasing challenges." Of particular concern are the statistics, reported by RNZ, that "63 per cent of 1006 respondents said they were under more pressure to pass students to meet government targets." Do you believe the pressure to pass students undermines the quality of tertiary education? Greens at Vic There has been a drop in tertiary students due to the high cost of student loans. With unaffordable housing in our major cities, young people cannot also afford to saddle themselves with huge loans to access what should be a right — tertiary education. However, universities need to keep enrolling students to keep government funding. The problem is that people without the entry qualifications are then let in, and these people are at risk of failing, and saddling themselves with unnecessary debt as well as wasting years of their life. A Green policy that could go a way towards solving both of these problems is our initiative to divert student loan money towards savings for first home buyers. This would both decrease student loan debt and go a way towards reducing the difficulties of saving for deposit that young people have. We can deal with student loan debt and decreasing home ownership in one stroke. — Elliot Crossan Young Nats — Lower North Island The National Party, and Young Nats, are dedicated to a high performing tertiary education sector that provides strong outcomes for learners and that tertiary providers are providing high quality educa-
tion to students, while looking after their staff. Under this National Government investment in the TEU sector has risen by 16.7% since 2008, and by 24% for the university sector specifically, despite tight economic and fiscal times for New Zealand. This government sees tertiary education as key to an innovative, dynamic, and developing economy that sees growing wages, higher standards of living, and greater returns for students. With nearly 500,000 students in tertiary education across the country it is important the government gets it right, and under National we believe good outcomes are being delivered in the system with increased government investment and support across the board. — Sam Stead VicLabour Stressed and under pressure, teachers do not have the time to teach their students well. All throughout the education system our educators are being told to do more with less. In the meantime, students lose out on the education they deserve. The Tertiary Education Union is right to raise this as an issue, and students should support them. What harms our teachers harms our students. We are building up thousands in student debt. It is important that the university system retains its quality. Tutors should have the time to be able to assess their students’ work critically, provide an honest mark, and aid them in improving. The root of this problem is the lack of proper government commitment to public education. Labour knows this, and is committed to providing three years post-secondary education free. A Labour-led government will listen to our educators and help, rather than hinder, them. If you are a representative of a youth political group and wish to participate in this section, please email editor@ salient.org.nz
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS Last Wednesday, VUWSA held its Initial General Meeting in the Hub. Despite the great turnout, there was obviously a few thousand of you who were chomping at the bit to be there but weren’t able to, so I’m going to take this opportunity to fill you in on what happened. Things started off on an exciting note, as always, with the obligatory lap of the Hub urging students to get inside the yellow rope so we could reach the required quorum of 100 students. By 1:11pm we were ready to go and started dancing through the agenda items. Apologies, tick! Minutes from the previous meeting, tick! The draft audit was presented without a hitch, barring the rightful objection to the small font. I’ll take that one on the chin. There’s only one thing worse than reading a financial audit, and that’s reading it in size 6 font. Last year’s annual report was presented to general approval. 2016 was a massive year with the success of our Student Friendly Wellington campaign, launch of a new Strategic Plan, and the best O-Week in some time (only to be surpassed by 2017 O-Week of course). The most substantive item of the day was a constitutional change to allow the officers on our executive to get paid minimum wage for the ten hours that they work each week. I was absolutely stoked that the meeting was overwhelmingly supportive of this long overdue change. We should be ensuring that the representative positions on our executive are accessible to all, not just those who can afford it. (See my Issue 04 column for more on this). Somehow we also managed to fit in a byelection in which, of the two excellent candidates, Thomas Rackley, who was previously acting in the role, was elected as the Treasurer/Secretary. The meeting finished in true VUWSA style with a pizza feast and to my dismay there was even pineapple. Thankfully we were spared any spaghetti. — Rory Lenihan-Ikin
VUWSA The university environment and surroundings feel very prescribed. Year after year new students come through Victoria, but there is no lasting, or even fleeting, impression of them having been here. Last year after the earthquake, a temporary wooden wall was erected in the Hub to separate the safe zones from the library, which needed repairs. The following week happened to be Creativity Week at Victoria, and the idea was formed to use the wall as a canvas for students. As in any bureaucracy, approval had to be sought from the University, which was at first hesitant to relinquish control of that space to students. The result was phenomenal. Over that week, the wall — which extended from the Louis’ kiosk to past the VicBooks one — turned into a vibrant display of paintings, poems, and comics, and even a Good Will Hunting-esque maths equation written by a lecturer, who popped by sporadically to check whether anyone had solved it. The entire atmosphere of the space changed, and a staff member told me that they felt it was the first time they could hear and see the student voice coming through. It is a shame that it takes a natural disaster to bring people together in this way, but at the same time shows that having creative spaces on campus is not only possible, but also has a real, positive impact on students’ wellbeing. I encourage you as students to seek opportunities, and challenge the university to create space for this kind of creative outlet. Many studies have shown the correlation between art and wellbeing, and in a campus community such as Victoria, there should be more opportunities for this creative expression. If you are interested in getting involved in something creative, the Bubble has Pop Art Therapy sessions every Thursday at 12pm. The Bubble is located on Level 2 of the Student Union Building. — Anya Maule
TE ARA TAUIRA E koekoe te tui, e ketekete te kākā, e kūkū te kereru. Ko te tangi, ko te waiata a te wahine te reo tuatahi i runga i te marae-ā-tea. Nō ngā purakau o ngā atua e arahia ake tēnei tikanga, nā e whai tōnu mātou te iwi Māori. Piki mai rā, kake mai rā ki te whare kōrero a kui mā, a koro mā. I tōku whare ka tū ake ngā pou whakairo hei tuapapa mō tēnei mea kamehameha te karanga. He mana tō te karanga. He aha rā te tikanga o tēnei kōrero? Ehara i te mea ka noho te mana i runga i a koe anake, engari ka noho koe hei reo mo tō whānau, mo tō hapū, mo tō iwi, nā mō ngāi Māori kē. Ki te tū hei kaikaranga kei te whakamana koe i a Papatuanuku, ā, i ngā mātua tipuna kua hoki ki ngā rangituhāhā. He wairua tō te karanga. He aha rā te tikanga o tēnei kōrero? He ahua kāore e tino marama ki te titiro atu. Ki ahau nei ka ahu mai te wairua mai i te manawa, mai i te ngakau, ā, ka puta ki te whai ao ki te ao mārama. He ahuatanga ka ora i waenga i te hunga ora, ā he ahuatanga ka ora i te te hunga mate, nā tēnei hononga ka kaa te ahi. He haerenga tō te karanga. He aha rā te tikanga o tēnei kōrero? Ko te karanga he ara mo te tangata mai i te kore, ki te pō, ki te māramatanga. He nekehanga o te tangata mai i te tomokanga tae noa atu ki te poho o te whare. Ehara i te nekehanga ā-tinana anake engari he nekehanga ā-wairua, ā-whakaaro hoki. Mehemea kā tū te kaikaranga i te taha tangata whenua, i te taha manuhiri rānei he mana tō te karanga, he wairua tō te karanga, he harenga tō te karanga. — Nā Te Pō Hawaikirangi
ONE OCEAN ON BLACK BEING A COLOUR “I do wanna talk about that stuff…” — Oscar Kightley I believe that art has the most extraordinary power to liberate. This is why, for a long time, I’ve been sceptical of the type of West Papua stories that paint the natives as lost causes, and their independence movement as futile without “proper” assistance. I feel like asking the proponents of these ideas: have you seen their art? I was born across the border from West Papua, in its independent counterpart Papua New Guinea. We share one landmass and we are one race. Thanks to this tie, our brothers and sisters from “next door” have been able to come across (shout out to Indonesia for letting them!) and share their music with us. Black Brothers, a West Papuan band, came to PNG when my mum was ten-years old, following the success of their debut album. They wrote about how they longed to live in the PNG capital, Port Moresby, and enjoy its freedoms. They wrote about love, about life, and about dreams. Western media loves the typical blackpeople-in-trouble story. In fact, “black” is the colour associated with trouble, poverty, death, disease, and corruption. My question is, can’t we start seeing that colour as we see all other colours: substances from which art, beauty, and freedom can be expressed? Western philosophy posits the notion of an unchained, undetained soul. Why must this only apply to Westerners? If art is freeing, everyone who produces it plays an active role in their own liberation. — Jasmine Koria
VOICES OF V-ISA Art. It’s the language that everyone speaks and no one fully understands. Everyone’s a native speaker and a critic. Whether it’s repeated images of Campbell’s tomato soup (Campbell’s Soup Cans by Andy Warhol), mirrored rooms with floating lights (Infinity Mirror Room by Yayoi Kusama), or a huge, metal bean (Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor), art all around the world has taken a confusing turn over the last century. It can be anything and doesn’t just hang in galleries, museums, or in the mansions of billionaires. Nowadays, anyone can enjoy art and anyone can make art. Of course that doesn’t mean anyone will appreciate it but, with such a variety, there’s bound to be something for everyone. Lucky for us, Wellington has often been called “the arts and culture capital.” What does this mean? It means that there’s fresh and funky art to be found around nearly every corner and in nearly every backyard. You’ve probably even seen some of it on your way to classes or to buy the groceries. Around VUW’s campuses you may have noticed exquisitely detailed pen drawings by an unknown artist, buried in the usual scribbles in the lecture halls in Hunter building. While down the hill, everyone has seen the famous naked man standing in a gravity-defying pose on the waterfront (Solace in the Wind by Max Patte) and the new twin David Bowies gracing Ghuznee Street, both great examples of art on our streets. If you’re into posh galleries and art that actually hangs on walls, head to our very own Adam Art Gallery at Kelburn campus, or if you are passing through town check out the City Gallery at Civic Square, which hosts famous and often interactive installations. So get out there and enjoy this colourful little city! Great undocumented finds await!! — Hannah Wee
VIC UFO It seems a bizarre concept that, even in 2017, women have to call men out on misogynistic behaviour. An even more bizarre version of this is having to argue with your male middle aged lecturers about what constitutes as feminism, and that in fact the discourse they are trying to discuss in class is a misogynistic view. This happened very recently. Our male lecturer attempted to argue, to a tutorial made up entirely of women, that women posing partially nude on the cover of fashion magazines such as Vogue is a form of selling yourself, and in turn you cannot be feminist and “sell your body”. Although I know his intention was to evoke a discussion within the class, his inability to comprehend our rhetoric came across as him playing the defence and in turn taking a misogynistic standpoint. The women in our tutorial were all relatively on the same page. Women can do whatever the fuck they want, whether this means posing semi-nude and advertising accessories, or being a spokesperson for the UN, or even sucking dick for cash. As long it is consenting, and feels empowering to you, then it is feminist. Yes, women can portray themselves as sexual beings and still be successful and respected. Women are multifaceted, there is not one trope we have to perform to at any given time. Men (especially those within academies) failing to understand contemporary feminist discourse makes for tedious discussion. Women should not have to constantly tell you why your opinion on our bodies and behaviour is misogynistic. It is not on us to regularly put you in check. If you are an academic wishing to engage with your female, trans, and gender minority students, maybe it’s time you do your own readings and research. — Cole Hutchinson
MAURI ORA A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS AMONG NZ UNIVERSITY STUDENTS? In the past four years Victoria students have been asked to complete a wellbeing survey. For the past three years, the number of students who report poor levels of emotional wellbeing has remained consistently at 45%. The survey is conducted about week six of trimester one (a stressful time!) and the results reveal paradoxically that these students are generally well engaged in daily academic life and their mood is generally positive BUT they are sleep deprived, highly stressed, and anxious. These last three states do not make for successful study. I am often asked: “is there a mental health crisis among university students in NZ?” I believe there is, and an excellent US article has found some reasons for the spike in mental health issues among students: 1) Academic pressures and the high cost of failure; 2) financial burden; 3) Increasing dependence on technology, rather than learning to handle social pressures face to face; 4) Lifestyle imbalance of higher stress, less exercise, poor diet, plus increased use of alcohol and drugs as coping mechanisms. These factors seem just as true here in NZ. So how should we at Victoria respond to serious concerns about student wellbeing? For a start, we know that frontline health and counselling services remain in high demand and waiting times are always an issue. We also have to focus on wellbeing promotion and education to create a culture of wellbeing and care (that everyone buys into and that allows us all to prioritise our wellbeing) and to support students and staff to be more resilient and build skills in stress management and positive coping. I encourage you to not be ashamed about being human and at times being overwhelmed and anxious. Our community should normalise not pathologise this. Let me know if you have a great idea about how we can achieve this. — Gerard Hoffman (Manager, Student Counselling Service)
TOKEN CRIPPLE Education is an inherently ableist environment. This is a new thought, something I am only learning now in my own life, going on six years in the tertiary education system and many more as a young student. I have been lucky to find education and academic achievement to be by and large a safe place; an “easy” place. I learnt less in PE than maybe I could have but by and large we have an education system which feeds minds, praises intellect and abstraction, and (perfectly for me) ignores our bodies. It was this bodymind division that allowed me to be included. Inclusion however, that operates on this division, that sees our success depend on leaving disability at the door, is only learning that includes the “able part” of us. I wonder what education would look like that really included whole people? — Henrietta Bollinger
Super Science Trends
COME WITH ME, AND YOU’LL BE, IN A WORLD OF TOTAL AUTOMATION! You know what my favourite part of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is? It’s not the Everlasting Gobstopper or the ironic punishments doled out upon the rotten children. It’s the reason why the Bucket family is in poverty. Charlie’s father loses his job putting the caps on toothpaste tubes to a robot that can do his job better and more efficiently. The punchline later is that he gets a new job fixing the robot that replaced him (presumably having retrained in mechanical engineering in the interim). It’s an idealistic detail that really emphasises the book’s morals, where the good and dignified poor are rewarded and the greedy, spoiled, and stupid are punished via a face-to-face confrontation with the means of production. But I digress. From the outset, a robot taking your job isn’t as dystopian as it sounds. By automating certain jobs or aspects of them, you remove a lot of boring, repetitive tasks from your work day. At this point in time, robots and artificial intelligences as we understand them are not fully self-aware clockwork citizens (yet), they’re just fancy labour-saving devices. Robots don’t want our jobs, mostly because we haven’t taught them to want. Manufacturing and cashier jobs are mostly done by machines, and tech companies are aiming to automate jobs that we previously thought would only ever be done by humans, like language processing programs that can proofread legal documents in seconds, or selfdriving cars and trucks. Great news for a law clerk who wants to get more paperwork done, less so for the thousands of taxi and truck drivers whose whole livelihoods depend on being at the wheel. And therein lies in the real problem. When businesses choose to automate their production processes, it increases the share of profits going to capital and decreases the share going to labour. And when it’s more beneficial for a company to replace its squishy sick leave demanding wage monkeys with never-tiring robots, profit is favoured over
people, and people inevitably suffer. For a country that supposedly values the dignity of the working person, US robotics stock is looking very healthy, having increased 30% in the past five years and currently worth $732 billion dollars, which is more than the entire economy of Switzerland. About 40% of America’s workforce is set to be automated in the next 15 years, with the UK’s and Japan’s workforces only being slightly less impacted at 30% and 21% respectively. Automation may not permeate the job market evenly either, as the well-off could automate the boring parts of their work to get in another nine holes at the links, while the poor will struggle to find even the most basic jobs. God help them if they ever make a wet-vac Roomba. However, automation need not exist only to benefit business. French Socialist Party candidate Benoit Hamon has suggested placing a tax on the wealth gained from automation, essentially a “robot tax,” which would then go back to the people in the form of improved infrastructure or a Universal Basic Income. One idea floated by the radical left that takes this even further is “fully automated luxury communism” which advocates for a post-work society where all labour is done by machines and a universal income supplied populace are freed up for creative and educational pursuits. But if we really want to continue our comfortably antagonistic relationship with capitalism, we can aim to only automate to the point where it’s a complement to human labour rather than a replacement. I hope that if Charlie automated the factory after taking over from Wonka, he gave the Oompa Loompas a decent severance package. — Gus Mitchell
GAMES Everything Developer: David OReilly Publisher: Double Fine Productions Platform: PS4 (reviewed), PC
This being the Art issue, I thought it would be a good idea to have a gander at an “artsy” game, one where the rules go out the window and any sort of weird shit is possible. Oh boy, did I find one! Everything is from the slightly demented mind of David OReilly — an artist, filmmaker, and animator with a very distinct aesthetic. If you’ve seen the Adventure Time episode “A Glitch Is a Glitch” you’ll know exactly what it is; low-poly 3D models, more glitches than Assassin’s Creed: Unity, and an absurd sense of humour inspired by internet memes. His previous effort in game development was Mountain, a simulator which barely qualified as a game since you couldn’t interact with anything. Perhaps taking that criticism into account, Everything is a game about controlling, well, everything. You’re plopped into the middle of a procedurally generated universe as a random creature, and initially you can “descend” into something smaller than what you start as, the game’s scale shifting with you. Eventually you’ll reach, no joke, the sub-atomic level, at which point you can “ascend” into bigger objects, until you can control entire galaxies. You can keep shifting between levels, so one minute you could be a cockroach and the next you’re an entire freaking galaxy! There seems to be an underlying hint of ridiculousness indicative of OReilly’s involvement. The animals in the game don’t have a traditional walk cycle, instead flipping head-over-heels in the most hilarious fashion, as if they decided walking was bullshit and cartwheels were much more fun (which, face it, they are). Objects of a similar nature can be grouped together, and it is incredibly hilarious to see massive herds of deer or shipping containers roam across the landscape without a care in the world. The very concept of the game is so ridiculous you can’t help but wonder if they made the whole thing for
a joke. Yet, it seems OReilly wants you to take it a bit more seriously. Interspersed throughout the world are “thoughts” — tiny pieces of existentialist musings from perspective of an object. It’s a little weird to see what a rock thinks about its own existence, but weirdness is OReilly’s raison d'être. More substantially, the presence of quotes from philosopher Alan Watts really hammer home the game’s themes. Watts espoused the belief that all objects in the universe are connected, that we need to free ourselves of the idea that space separates things. Including snippets of Watts’ lectures to find is a stroke of genius that takes Everything from being a weird gameplay experiment to a much more transcendental experience. You stop worrying about trying to find something else to control and instead start to think about what every object in the game, from an atom to a planet, is thinking and experiencing. You find yourself drawn in and never want to leave. Unfortunately, despite the metaphysical experiences and there being so many things to find, there is little else of substance to Everything. I felt like I had found everything the game had to offer in just over an hour, and while it felt great to play at the time, I didn’t feel any need to return to it. If you’re a hardcore completionist who likes collecting trophies then maybe you’ll get a bit more out of it gameplay-wise, but this is otherwise a therapeutic experience masquerading as a video game. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not qualified enough to talk about art games? Why do I play games? HOLY SHIT, WHY DO I EVEN EXIST?! AAAAAAGGGGHHHH! — Cameron Gray
TELEVISION Difficult People
After binge watching the first two seasons in approximately four days, the best thing I could come up with to describe Hulu’s Difficult People is: “Curb Your Enthusiasm, with more B-List cameos, meets a less stupidly offensive It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia meets a more diverse Seinfeld meets the best underground trashy celebrity gossip sites that I check daily.” Difficult People co-stars Billy Eichner, host of Billy on the Street, a quiz show filmed in New York City that involves Eichner running up to people on the aforementioned street and demanding answers to things like, “For a dollar, name a white woman!” and storming away screaming about Gwyneth Paltrow when they can’t answer. Billy on the Street is one of my favourite shows, but I can’t begrudge people for finding it difficult. However, Eichner’s brash energy works beautifully in this sitcom collaboration with comedienne Julie Klausner. Eichner and Klausner star as exaggerated versions of themselves — struggling comedians trying to catch a break in New York City while still finding themselves enamoured with every A-Lister they run into at the industry events they eventually get kicked out of. Billy is single, barely working as a waiter, and slowly running out of places to work out at in his city after banging his way through all the gay men at his local gyms. Julie writes recaps of reality television shows online (sound familiar?) and lives with her square but loving boyfriend, Arthur, and their two dogs, Senator Jelly Beans and Greg. Billy and Julie are exceptionally difficult, and so are the people around them: Billy’s married bosses Nate and Denise (Gabourey Sidibe, Empire) and his co-workers, the “recently” out Matthew and Lola, a transwoman who passionately believes 9/11 was an inside job. Lola is played by actress and trans activist Shakina Nayfack, who also served as a consultant on the show and
wrote the majority of her character’s lines. Eichner and Klausner are both pop culture fanatics and it enriches their production, making watching them gleefully and perfectly recreate iconic scenes from films such as Pretty Woman and Sixteen Candles all the more satisfying. The characters within Difficult People are all hysterical and appreciate being so, and seeing them laugh at their own jokes is far more satisfying than any Chuck Lorresanctioned laugh track. “When did comedies just become half hour dramas?” bemoans Billy, all but turning to face the camera and winking at the audience. Difficult People remains punchy and funny throughout each 23-minute episode even when dealing with relatable situations. Or maybe not so relatable ones, like running over David Byrne from the Talking Heads, or forcing Nathan Lane to stick his hand in a toilet for a fake charity. The shows other celebrity cameos are all niche and fantastic and everyone commits to being a weird asshole; Debbie Harry, Kate McKinnon, Amy Sedaris, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Nyle from America’s Next Top Model, and even my fave Countess Luann de Lesseps from Real Housewives of New York! I think I was always destined to like Difficult People because it features a self-sabotaging struggling television reviewer and Billy Eichner yelling. It’s not for everyone; unabashedly a show about relentlessly difficult people, if you find Peep Show or Curb Your Enthusiasm hard to watch, I wouldn’t recommend this. Additionally, if you don’t have even a vague rundown on pop culture from the last 10–15 years you’re gonna get a little lost. I’ll give you a free one: Kevin Spacey’s a fucking creep. The show’s third season premieres this August. — Katie Meadows
Wednesday Yumi Zouma — these Christchurch dream poppers will no doubt get you hoppin’ and boppin’ down to Caroline at 9.00pm to hear what fine sonic delicacies they have prepared. Thursday The Cactus Channel and Moses — The Cactus Channel are self-described as being “the moody instrumental children of Melbourne’s world famous soul scene,” which is equal parts douchey and impressive, but they have also worked with BADBADNOTGOOD, so +1 cool point. With that, and Moses supporting, this is a hoedown not to be missed. Moon bar in Newtown at 8.00pm. Saturday Animal Party — party like an animal. I’m not quite sure of the connotations of this statement, it seems strangely unspecific, as surely there are a range of animals that would much rather stay in with a good book than party? Regardless, Bear Science, Wukong the Monkey King, and Kayleb Duckett will be blowing the roof off Valhalla, 8.00pm. — Lauren Spring
Podcasts about The Bachelor : Indulge Your Guilty Pleasures
The fact that I am an avid watcher of The Bachelor and all extensions of the franchise (yes, all of them) is not something I typically work into conversation with my peers. Is this because I do not possess a burning desire to talk about the show in great length and detail? No, it is because I have found my release in the wonderful world of Bachelor-related podcasts. It was around a year ago that I was delighted to find that there is not one, not two, but definitely more than five podcasts dedicated to discussing The Bachelor. One of my favourite things about podcasts is the diversity of content. If you have a niche interest that none of your friends share, do not fear; instead, make podcasts your medium of choice. You will find solace in the knowledge that there are many out there who share your weird, specific obsession. Anyway, back to The Bachelor. If you are like me, and pretend to watch the show for “social commentary” purposes rather than just as trashy entertainment, hit up podcasts. One of my personal favourites is the Huffington Post (I know, I am sorry) podcast Here To Make Friends. It is hosted by two cool ladies, Emma Gray and Claire Fallon, who chat about the show from a feminist perspective. There are often guest appearances from former Bachelor contestants, offering genuinely fascinating insight into the behind-the-scenes processes of the show. If one Bachelor-related podcast is not enough to satiate your appetite, then firstly, I salute you comrade, and secondly, you should check out Accept These Bros and Bustle’s Will You Accept This Podcast for refreshing and humorous run downs of the show. For those who dabble in the New Zealand Bachelor series, The Spinoff have a highly entertaining podcast from a Kiwi perspective called The Fantasy Suite. I will finish by saying that Bachelor podcasts have saved my dignity and allowed my friendships to flourish. I now feel no need to vent to innocent friends and family members about a show they probably despise or at best do not care about. So shout out to podcasts for validating, enabling, and pandering to my love for terrible reality television. — Hannah Patterson
How to be a Pretentious Fuck 101 How to be a Pretentious Fuck 101 How to be a Pretentious Fuck 101
So you’re in an art gallery, staring at some piece you know fuck all about. There may or may not be colours involved, possibly a shape or two thrown in the mix, fuck maybe even a body part of some description. Some middle aged person wearing clothes that cost more than your annual rent comes up next to you and murmurs, “interesting….” There is only one way to respond — show them up with your sick knowledge you got from an overpriced education (that they probably didn’t have to pay for). But don’t worry dummy — I’ve got you! Just link whatever you’re looking at to some music, easy as pie! Here's a cheat sheet for all you ‘2 kewl 4 skool’ kids out there. All you need to do is pick out a few keywords from that little piece of card or whatever it is they put next to art. First things first, does this art in front of you look old af ? You know the ones, with the tacky arse looking frames with people’s faces on it that look like an actual face. You’re probably looking at something renaissance, baroque, neoclassical, romanticist, or realist. Any of those words look familiar? Let's be real, this is the easiest lot to pair. Just throw on some classical music, idiot! Wanna feel real smug? Pick one of those real loud ass German pieces with all the horns and call it a day. Don’t be too obvious though, pick something like Tchaikovsky 4th instead of Beethoven for christ’s sake. No faces but a real mundane arse scene instead? Something flute-based works, try Vaughan Williams. No faces, and the scenes looking a bit more colourful? That’s postimpressionism, stupid, throw on some Leoš Janáček. But what do you do when it all starts getting, ya know, weird? Let’s take it a step at a time, together. Are they pictures of normal things, but really off ? Like a face that a 6-year old did? Then it's probably expressionist or Fauvist. For a time-accurate piece to make you feel like a real superstar, blast some Arnold Schoenberg. You got a melting clock or
some other ridiculous ass scene? Dadaism dummy. Put on your most pretentious face and listen to the old John Cage staple, 4’33”. No normal things? Bunch of geometric shapes? You’ve got yourself some Cubism or De Stijl there probably. Techno works super well here, throw on some Brian Eno, pal. Real cartoony looking stuff ? You know the ones, the soup can, the one of that woman drowning. Throw on some Devo and make a comment about commercialism in a tone that implies you're being ironic, but also ironic about your irony. What about if instead of shapes, there's just a block of colour on the canvas? Probably abstract impressionism. Jump right in the deep end with some drone, listen to Earth (personally I’d go for Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version) and really just start drooling. People will know you’re a true art fan then. You’ve got no geometric shapes, no solid colour to go off — what the fuck do you do here? Here’s where it gets a bit shaky. You’re staring at a pile of junk on the floor wondering if you should admire it, or let the gallery staff know someone’s emptied their pockets. There’s a shark cut in half that you’re walking between, a black and white photo of some rickety arse shack. Fuck it, throw on whatever, flip the old person the bird and call it art. Vice might write about it. — RB
FILM Women in Action
Setting aside the sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero cross-genres, the action genre is still a rather large field to mine. Historically, we tend to associate Hollywood blockbuster action films directly with masculinity. Men like Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have oeuvres ranging across decades of action films that have brought them prestige and a whole lot of money. The big franchises — James Bond, Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Bourne, all but the most recent Mission Impossible and Fast & Furious films included — relegate the few female characters to the role of victims, eye candy, or love interests who must be protected and kept separate from the action. More recently, two other tropes have become popular; the agent who uses “womanly wiles” to seduce her target, and the sexless military woman who toughs it out. I’m not trying to say that women should not play these sorts of characters. However, overwhelmingly, they are the only roles we see them in, and this creates a distorted image of what women are capable of, both in film and in reality. The wellworn plot arcs limit the range of roles for women, are usually disempowering, and are devoid of creativity to boot. Even films such as Fast & Furious 6, which has been lauded for its casting of Gina Carano and Michelle Rodriguez, still have scantilyclad women as set dressing, fewer female characters overall, and most of the female character development happens off-screen. Further skewing representation is the dearth of queer* women, WOC, and older women in action films. Here are some actresses and films that have bucked the trend: Firstly, let’s shift the focus to the Hong Kong golden age of action cinema, the ’80s and ’90s films which spawned the likes of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and John Woo. Michelle Yeoh, who is Malaysian born and of Chinese descent, is an acclaimed actress whose mainstream successes include Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Supercop, as well as Tai Chi Master. She worked alongside Cynthia Rothrock, one of the few American actors to become a star in Hong Kong, in Yes, Madam, another classic of this era. Kelly Hu, Hawaiian born American with Chinese and English ancestry, was also in the kung fu action business, but has been consigned to TV work more recently, working in series like Arrow. As these actresses have aged, their roles have diminished, but their skills are just as sharp. Back in the US, we have the likes of Angelina Jolie, whose repertoire includes Mr and Mrs Smith, the infamous Salt in which she was cast as the leading role that had been written for Tom Cruise, and the earlier film Wanted. Lucy Liu and her co-stars in Charlie’s Angels paved the way for the small-scale film D.E.B.s, an action-comedy including a lesbian spy-villain romance, and hopefully more female ensemble films to come. Actresses like Michelle Rodriguez and Zoe Saldana lend talent to films such as Girlfight and The Losers (both older titles), while RED stars veteran secret agent Helen Mirren. Every actress mentioned has a variety of other titles to her name in other genres also worth checking out. Lastly, let’s get excited for upcoming film Atomic Blonde, * This article emplo queer as the reclai ys starring Charlize Theron as a bisexual spy romantically umbrella term use med d to enamoured with a villain played by Sophia Boutella. And to all who identify refer as if you need any more titles to get you going, I suggest LGBTQIAP+. an in-depth Google search. — Livné Ore
Little Penang Little Penang on Dixon Street is perhaps Wellington’s favourite Malaysian restaurant. Showcasing the cuisine from the state of Penang in Northwest Malaysia is either the easiest path to success or perhaps a reputational burden that would leave even the most mundane patron disappointed. Penang, after all, has been heralded as the food capital of Southeast Asia by renowned chefs and writers. Officially set up as a trading port by our familiar British colonials, Penang was said to be a “convenient magazine of trade,” sitting on the Malaccan Straits between China and India. To be sure, plenty of trade and mixing had occurred long before Francis Light made his new territorial discovery. In fact, the first Chinese settlers had moved to the region as early as the 15th century. Known as the Peranakans, or Straits Chinese, this group either fully or partially integrated into the customs of the local indigenous communities. As such, the Peranakan community is a fascinating nod to the notion of existing between cultures, and forming new ones. This integration occurred within the realm of cuisine too. The owners of Little Penang, coming from a line of Peranakan heritage, tell this story through their food. *** During the lunch hour the service is always prompt and genial. The atmosphere is created by the plates mimicking banana leaves, contemporary Penang styled paintings on the walls, and the douse of fresh sunlight from the wall to ceiling windows. While staring with reverie at the numerous, luxurious gravies simmering in the bain-marie at the counter, selecting a dish can be quite a challenge. But this is just a testament to the consistency and quality of the food — it leaves you spoilt for choice. Be it the Kapitan Chicken or the Masak Merah, a treat is bound to ensue. From the menu, my safe-solid pick (as with many other people I know) would be the mee goreng. I've dedicated a large part of my life to eating many plates of mee goreng, and as such my opinion here is especially
informed. Unlike many other mee gorengs on offer in Wellington, this one is unique. Not sloppy or drenched in soy sauce, it is savoury and not heavy. The tartness of tomatoes is met with the fresh crunch of greens. Then, inexplicably, a sweetness emerges right at the end. With a stickiness, the texture of honey, this mee goreng is served with a tall pile of crispy vegetable fritters. The gourmet quality of Little Penang's offering of the humble fried noodle is reflective of the finesse that this restaurant is known for, which distinguishes it from every other Malaysian restaurant in town. Another signature dish Little Penang offers is the Assam Laksa. This dish is a North-Western regional variation of a Laksa dish, which, while still a noodle broth, is nothing like the hegemonic Malaysian staple Curry Laksa with its distinctively rich coconut cream broth that we are well acquainted with. True to its name and geography, Little Penang only serves Assam Laksa, which is commendable alone, this being a dish with deliciously dank fish broth and spritely tamarind cut. Perhaps something for the more adventurous eaters among us. However, as a life-long Assam Laksa enthusiast, it must be noted that Little Penang's version falls far short and in many ways pales in comparison to their rival PappaRich's offering. Culinary shortcomings such as this remind us that Little Penang are yet to fulfill the heights of praise heaped on them. Little Penang offers us a little taste of what happens in Penang. The task of showcasing the all-encompassing heterogeneity of the state's cuisine is perhaps something they never promised in the first place, which is why it is still a restaurant that, at least in Wellington, can stand tall among its competitors. Fused and forged, Little Penang is certainly one of Wellington's charmers. — Shariff Burke
Van Gogh’s Ear: The True Story — Bernadette Murphy
Hanging Man: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei — Barnaby Martin
The infamous tale of Van Gogh and his severed ear donated to the local prostitute has always been a fun topic of discussion among art nerds; so here was this art nerd, yours truly, keen to get into what the latest writer had to say about the guy. Van Gogh was your typical VUW student: spends all his money on durries and wine and lives in a degenerate flat in a windy city. He was deep and brooding and thought no one understood him and his art (or BA). Van Gogh’s Ear is Bernadette Murphy’s desperate attempt to be the next Raymond Chandler. Thinking of herself as a detective figure, she describes and deducts like any cheap detective novel would; convoluted, fluffy, and try-hard. It's hard to get past the first few chapters — her self-indulgent life stories and anecdotes have next to no relevance to what the title promises. This is a set up for a sleepy and bland read where you have to reach for the fun stuff about one of the most interesting, influential, and controversial artists. In all fairness, Van Gogh's Ear is Murphy’s first novel, but it's infuriatingly obvious. Her style can be jolted and awkward and her descriptions lack creativity. She also had a tendency to repeat herself over, and over, and over again. Murphy, we get it, you reached “dead ends” and had “hot leads” and other classic, half-baked terms. There are redeeming features — it ain't all bad. You can learn some interesting stuff from Murphy. Her research process was so long and arduous that it is actually very cool that she discovered and compiled extensive information surrounding Van Gogh. Overall, I would recommend Van Gogh's Ear to any first year art history student who needs to pick up on their basic art jargon and learn some research skills. — Brooke Wilton
Simply put, Ai Weiwei is one of the most prolific and courageous contemporary artists that we have the absolute privilege to be able to enjoy. By teaming this amazing guy with the amazing author/journalist Barnaby Martin, The Hanging Man is a snappy, sympathetic, and well thought out read. Anyone who is interested in art, politics, human rights, or Chinese history will have a field day. The Hanging Man dives into the 2011 arrest of the politically notorious Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei. Considering the subject of this book, the mere 244 pages talks about a lot more than just his art. Martin provides a deep history and will surely influence how we know and understand the artist today. He discusses past poets and artists who faced similar, or even worse, circumstances within the political context of China. The vocabulary is direct and the author makes no excuses for excessive language, hitting the point straight and hard. It’s shocking and will no doubt surprise you. Martin covers years of historical oppression in a country that’s constantly under international scrutiny for its political procedures, diplomatic relations, and dodgy human rights practices. Martin skilfully wrote on all of these issues, doing more than just a shallow skim as typically found in an artist’s profile book. In the best way possible, absorbing all of the heavy content in The Hanging Man doesn’t consume you or make you sad. Rather, it makes you mad. Real mad. Mad over the current crises in our own home and abroad. Rather than feeling beaten down by everyone upstairs, Martin uses Ai Weiwei as a figure to be followed. Through art, Ai Weiwei figured out the way he could bring to light (nationally and internationally) conflicts and issues that still plague his home today. Go forth and fight the power! — Brooke Wilton
In a news article “Protests against rape culture draw hundreds” (March 20, Issue 03) names of schools were misprinted. The corrections are as follows: Wellington East Girls' College, not Wellington Girls' College; Wellington College not Wellington Boys' College; St Patrick's College, not St Patrick's High School; Wellington East Girls' College, not Wellington Girls' High. These have been changed on Salient’s website.
AIESEC Victoria is part of an international youth-led organisation which seeks to change the world by activating the leadership potential in youth. The world is defined by the people who live in it — so AIESEC believes that the fundamental solution to many of the world’s problems is to develop responsible young leaders. Alongside our local membership program, we offer an overseas volunteer programme known as Global Volunteer. This is a 6–12 week cross-cultural experience where you take part in a project that contributes towards one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals in one of the 126 countries and territories that we are established in. While helping to instigate positive social change in a country of your choice, you will also gain valuable skills that will enable you to become a successful leader later in life. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://aiesec.org/
ADAM ART GALLERY
Professor John Macalister on John Reynolds Friday, April 21, 12.00pm Associate Professor in the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies John Macalister, using John Reynolds’s painting Looking West, Late Afternoon, Low Water, which borrows all 1,174 Māori words in the Dictionary of New Zealand English (1997) as a backdrop, will talk about the influence of te reo Māori on the teaching of English in Aotearoa.
Come see us at the Student Exchange Fair 2017 next Tuesday, April 11! The Victoria Abroad office hosts an annual fair to promote the student exchange opportunities available to Victoria students. Come to the Hub and the McLaurin Foyer on Kelburn campus on Tuesday, April 11, from 11am–3pm. This is a rare opportunity to talk with students from the overseas partner universities, as well as embassy/ consular staff, and Victoria students who have recently returned from their own exchanges. Find out everything you need to know about where you want to go and what scholarships are available to help fund your exchange! Weekly Information Sessions will resume on Wednesday, April 19, 12:50pm, Level 2, Easterfield Building. Drop-in hours: In preparation for our exchange fair office hours are postponed until April 19. If you have questions, please come to the fair!
A listing in our notices section is free for all VUW students, VUWSA-affiliated clubs, and not-for-profit organisations. If you would like to post a notice please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include NOTICE in the subject line. There is limited space in this section so notices will be prioritised at the discretion of the editors.
Each number from 1â€“26 represents one of the letters of the alphabet. Solve the code to complete the crossword. Two letters have been provided for you.
Make as many words of three letters or more as you can. Each word must contain the letter in the central square. Target goals: Good: 17 words Great: 21 words Impressive: 24 words
LAST WEEK'S SOLUTION
Sudoku difficulty: Hard
sazerac at half past nine we drink cheap wine from the bottle. the zest stays later when our fur coats drip with courage. now I’m dancing with a nameless girl — she’s wearing velvet and everyone’s watching us cheek to cheek and I swear she’s french (that ’s why we don’t speak). soon we’re going rogue doing lines pushed neat with a card what the heck now she’s angry I did all her coke and back on the street I’m rolling a joint by the jazz café but it rains and the papers sog. this must be karma my feet start to bleed and those lines must be speed coz it’s six and I miss an old lover so I call nine times just to chat but we never just chat so we grit our teeth and talk small. it’s not like old times but hey these are new now I’m pressing ‘end’ as the sun’s coming up but there are questions (will I remember tonight? are you really green?) so I write it all down before trying to sleep. tomorrow came early but it’s usually late now it ’s nine and I’m still very awake. I think of her velvet and this energy rush won’t give me a rest will I ever be the same? do I even exist? my teeth are stained blue with yesterday’s tricks. I feel like a lemon that’s missing its zest. — L eah Dodd