Combining informed research with direct responses to a location, Shannon Te Ao’s performative installation and video works retrace the complex histories and relationships associated to a specific place or situation.
The accumulative accounts of the events begin to describe a small number of conflated narratives. Based around basic physical tasks and embedded within an event of discursive ambiguity, mechanical and material events are woven into temporary moments of social ambivalence. An argument wrapped around a job – within space that is not necessarily communal but engaged with by audience members that formalise some kind of sparseness rather than connectivity.
Materials elements brought to The Physics Room will be used to initiate a new performance work that offers a further response, a rejoinder to Te Ao’s previous exchanges within the gallery context, reflecting on the social and linguistic models common to this space.
Towards doing more will also feature a series of video works to be shown sequentially over the duration of the exhibition: Untitled (After Rakaihautu) (8 - 23 March), Untitled (McCahon House studies) (25 March – 6 April) and Untitled (Andersons Bay) (8 – 13 April). This trilogy of works share a specific approach to working within a site, though each are grounded in a precise location and its history.
A new publication will accompany the exhibition, featuring documentation alongside writing from Christina Barton, Caterina Riva and Anna-Marie White, designed by Bepen Bhana.
Shannon Te Ao is an artist, writer and curator whose current research interests include performance and video art practices. The majority of Te Ao's recent artistic output has seen him investigating and responding to material drawn from Māori paradigms, testing the implications of alternative creative, social and linguistic models in relation to contemporary video art and other performative practices. He teaches at Massey University College of Creative Arts.