• Lisa Reihana: Digital Image: Pieta, 2020; UHD two-channel video; 11:30 mins.

Lisa Reihana: How Can a Māori Girl Recolonize the Screen Using Mighty Pixels?

The work of American and Canadian video artists fueled Lisa Reihana’s interest in nonstandard formats. The freedom the art world offered, and the ability to wrestle with the tools associated with cinema, the commercial realm, magazines, and broadcasting provided her with an opportunity to challenge and further late 1980s New Zealand society. She saw it as an opportunity to colonize the visual language of the time, which led to much self-questioning: What does it mean to be a first-generation urban artist in Auckland, New Zealand—the largest Pacific city in the world? How does gender affect access to Indigenous knowledge, and what is its impact on the stories you tell? The resulting strategies have led to a sustained practice that attempts to both normalize and transcend ideas of what it is to be Māori.

Reihana Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Tūteauru and Ngati Hine creates through a pioneering practice combining photography, video, and installation. Her philosophy is “making” rather than “taking,” with a longstanding emphasis on portraiture photographs and historical and ancestral narratives. The collaborative nature of Reihana’s practice is made possible with the help of her family, numerous friends, and fellow artists. Reihana’s work has been exhibited in museums, art galleries, and art festivals around the world.

Presented by the Berkeley Center for New Media. Cosponsored by the Arts Research Center and The American Indian Graduate Program.