Pati Solomona Tyrell | INFLUX

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PATI SOLOMONA TYRELL – A digitized version of my activation work FA’AAFA is currently showing at St Paul St gallery as part of the Tautai tertiary group exhibition INFLUX, curated by Ane Tonga. If you’re free go check out the works, exhibition closes on the 28th October.

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(Photographer: Sam Hartnett)

INFLUX of political agency

INFLUX brings together diverse artworks that collectively push and pull our understanding of the Pacific from a perspective that is much larger than Aotearoa New Zealand.  The Tautai exhibition of tertiary students’ work opens at Auckland’s ST PAUL ST GALLERY, AUT on 23 September – 28 October 2016 and at Wellington’s PATAKA ART + MUSEUM 20 May-13 August 2017.

Jermaine Dean | OFFSTAGE 7

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(Image – Tautai 2016)

In 2009 TAUTAI Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust presented OFFSTAGE at Galatos. The show was programmed as part of the 2009 Auckland FRINGE Festival and featured a range of Pacific artists including Lonnie Hutchinson, Shigeyuki Kihara, Janet Lilo, Sheyne Tuffery, Itiri Ngaro and LindaT. They were also joined by a number of emerging artists including Vaimaila Urale, Junior Taumoepeau, Mose Eteuati, Angela Tiatia, Fristar Viliamu and Tanu Gago. OFFSTAGE was originally described as “a night of live and mediated performance works – a mix of the high-brow and the experimental, with a party atmosphere.”

I was late to the opening after getting too lit with some friends before rolling up to the bar just in time to miss the screening of my short documentary film – DRAG DIVAS. I remember submitting the film thinking it probably won’t get accepted because it was so conventional as piece of moving image. But they managed to find a spot for it in the programme. I invited the star of my film, a 6 foot drag queen named Rose Bush. The night was really similar in spirit to some of the random art experiences FAFSWAG has produced over the past couple of years. It was a little bit casual and and kind of alternative and hap hazard. At times you didn’t always know what to expect and the bar was really good at alleviating any pressure for artist to feel like they had be precious about their work.

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(Image – Tautai 2016)

It’s now 2016 and TAUTAI’S OFFSTAGE is being delivered in it’s 7th iteration. The showcase as a whole has gone through a number of transformations. The most apparent is the mixing of contemporary Pacific arts Practitioners with emerging Pacific arts practitioners as an opportunity to show works collectively. For the 7th version of OFFSTAGE the experience was presented as an exhibition of emerging artist.

OFFSTAGE still remains for the most part an experimental space despite a majority of the works being created specifically for other instances, exhibitions or generally being products of tertiary fine arts learning.

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(Image – Louisa Afoa)

This year OFFSTAGE was curated by Louisa Afoa and hosted as a 2 week exhibition at ART SPACE on Auckland’s K road. FAFSWAG artist Jermaine Dean debuted his moving image work self-titled JERMAINE which was created collaboratively with other artist from the collective. The exhibition still reflects OFFSTAGE as a place for new innovative and experimental works. OFFSTAGE 7 was a place for artist to transmit their works to audiences outside of their typical and tight-nit communities and to have their work shown within and industry context.

Jermaine’s work for offstage see’s a departure from his glossy digital photography practice into moving image through performance.What this work achieves really well is that it creates a window point of entry into an underground world that very few people and artist in Auckland get to experience. Jermaine becomes the protagonist in his own narrative about space and how this is physically and politically occupied through his unique identity.

It has been great to see Jermaine curated into this show as an artist that isn’t on a tertiary pathway within the fines arts and who’s practice is approached from another field entirely. Jermaine’s diverse back ground and experience make it hard to define his practice concretely and in the spirit of what OFFSTAGE has always been a vehicle for, this sounds like a perfect fit.

I hope artist feel empowered to make submissions for future TAUTAI OFFSTAGE exhibitions.

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Sione Monu | BEAUTY IS IN THE STREET

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It was an important moment for FAFSWAG to support Tongan artist Sione Monu for his opening at Object Space. Entitled ‘Beauty is in the Street’ the exhibition opened on Ponsonby road in central Auckland on the 27th of August to a full house.

We all looked like Aitu’s sporting black magic realness in the centre of Panem. I joke with these Hunger Game references, but to be honest these spaces can be extremely difficult to navigate for artist with emerging practices situated outside an institutional context. The class divisions can be overbearingly apparent when Pacific artist are traversing these stark white spaces with their problematic brown bodies, cultural politics and social context.

Curator Elle Loui August has approached this project with a lot of attention to detail and  it feels like a very conscious and consorted effort to service a new audience for Object Space. This is really refreshing for us to see the value Sione Monu brings to these spaces along with the other artist featured in the exhibition.

Group exhibitions are always about conversation and intersectionality. We know from first hand experience that converging narratives are not always comfortable experiences as they can unearth common grounds and vast points of difference simultaneously. Difference has always been a hard conversation in this country. But when executed well sharing narratives can generate the kind of momentum that feels like difference is actually a point of strength and this show definitely feels grounded in the notion of collective strength.

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Beauty is in the Street

27 August 2016 – 24 September 2016

Reimagining the city through the eyes of critically attuned and collective making practices which engage in the vital issues and materials of our contemporary landscape with resilience, humour, energy and transmutation.

Including contributions from Areez Katki, Sione Monu, Lula Cucchiara & Ash Mosen / Mosen Studios, Rawiri Brown, Luisa Tora and Molly Rangiwai-McHale, Liv Worsnop, Eleanor Cooper, Oliver van der Lugt, Luka Mues, Dawn Blood, Lulu Fang, Annie Mackenzie, Jack Tilson, John Mutambu, Bridget Riggir, Lana Lopesi, Ella Sutherland and Billie Popovic

Curated by Elle Loui August

Opening Event: Saturday 27 August 

Image – Sione Monu, Blanket Couture Series, 2016

B O D Y Vogue Ball 2016

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Auckland City’s social cognition as a civic centre and cultural hub of Aotearoa has been sleeping on queer brown B O D I E S for some time. For years it has engineered diversity with its salt and pepper programing, seasoning its festivals with our flavour in exchange for a cute lil koha and gold coin donation / participation. But last night in Auckland Central something shifted making this lazy bitch woke to the bare naked truth – This is what agency looks like when you exercise a refusal to be kept, chucking out any expectations for someone else to top-up your glass!!

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It’s easy to talk about cultural inclusion from the outside because your positions are etched in stone trapping you in a two prong argument of right and wrong that never resolves. The left maintain their reasoning for feeling excluded while the right maintain that it’s all in our heads.  The only way out of this entanglement is to disrupt the entire process and for queer people of colour that sometimes means using our bodies. The queer brown folk occupying Aucklands nether regions and social outpost (East, West and South) came through and changed this sleepy social paradigm for good.

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The B O D Y Vogue Ball saw the culmination of four years of roots ground-work play out on a central stage and FAFSWAGS teething proms have all but dissipated. But let’s be real. All though the FAFSWAG ball is flexing her new leg muscles she still has to do that shit in six inch stilettos.

Birthed in Otara South Auckland FAFSWAGS original Vogue ball struggled as an event from first time insecurities and a mild identity crisis. It was her first time in DRAG at a ball. In all honesty it would have been fair to give her the chop. Her runway was messy, her vogue was stunty as fuck and “Her makeup wasn’t looking beautiful tonight”. Over all she had a long way to go as far as Vogue Balls was concerned.

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The B OD Y Vogue Ball speaks to the shifting tides for a cultural movement that has since its origins in NYC, generated and inspired a globalised voice for marginal societies. Last night was true to this fashion and authenticity for a community living those lines and treading those marginal spaces. Not in theory but in real world ways. As host and custodians of that space we’re honoured to have you share your truth with us and unlike Auckland City we’re happy to have you keep shit real without bartering away your cultural capital for chump change.

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Now to the love… Our foremost gratitude goes to the Vogue community that showed out and filled the space with your beautiful brown bodies. Thank you to all the new and familiar faces for gracing our ball room floor with your presence. Without you none of this shit is possible and all this social discourse and cultural sparring is redundant. Don’t ever forget that. You are the scene, you are the culture and you are the movement. Take it, love it, own it, it is yours!!_MG_6613 copy.png

Congratulations to all the grand prize winners. Thanks for providing us with benchmarks for the next event. You came, you saw, you slayed.

SOFT N CUNT – Darren / Envy Millan

RUNWAY – Pati

FEMALEFIGURE – Jaycee

DRAG PERFORMANCE – Moe

DRAMATICS – Sam

Thank you to our judges FALENCIE, HUKA HORI, AMY, REUELU, ROSE.

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Thank you our performers THE JAACKERS.

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Thank you to our DJ Reina Sutton.

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Thank you to our sponsors and supporters, NIU FM, PAPERBAG PRINCESS, LOVE YOUR CONDOM, FAMILY BAR DOWN UNDER.

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Last but not least can we all just give it up for this bitch, the hostess with the mostess, her cunty chantress extravaganza TAUFA FISINAUA. Thank you boo, you’re a life force to be reckoned with and your fire on the mic had the whole thing lit from beginning to end.

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As a final thought we leave you with The B O D Y Vogue Ball mantra and theme.

It’s all about self-love / loving thy body / passion / self-defence / dreaming big / Minding your own fucking business / and if you follow the rules you too can get this body…

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B O D Y / Vogue Ball / CATEGORIES

 

B O D Y / O D Y / O D Y
It’s all about self-love / loving thy body / passion / self-defense / dreaming big / Minding your own fucking business / and if you follow the rules you too can get this body…


S O F T –N C U N T
Theme: Androgynous Punk at an All White Party
“GET OUT OF MY CAUCASIAN HOUSE!” – JOANNE PRADA
~Delicacy and softness of spin dips and hand performance ~
~ I want to see pussy ~ I want to see cunt!~
~Unisex category ~

CATEGORY PRIZE – $100


R U N W A Y ( F A N T A S E A )
Theme: Black Magic Witch
“You go back there and you bring me their heads, Fiona , her daughter and every witch bitch in that house”- Angela Bassett
~10’s on Creativity and Imagination~ 10’s on Garment ~
~ 10’s on Walk, Attitude and Energy~
~Unisex Category~

CATEGORY PRIZE – $100


F E M A L E / F I G U R E / P E R F O R M A N C E
Theme: Carrie Fever
“Oh, honey. Goddesses don’t speak in whispers. They scream.” – The Countess / Lady Gaga
~ REALNESS – 10’S for performance dips, hands, spins ~
~ 10’s Garment/costume ~
~T-GIRLS only~

CATEGORY PRIZE – $100


D R A G / P E R F O R M A N C E
Theme: Cooperate Cannibal
“Look at ha makeup It looks terrible”– Crystal Labeija
~ 10’s From the lipsyncs to the look ~ Selling the performance ~ sell us the fantasy
~unisex category~ drag queens ~
~ drag kings ~ bio queens~

CATEGORY PRIZE – $100


DRAMATICS
Theme: Banjee Cunt with a million insta followers
“I got n*ggas that’s dressin like bitches, I got bitches that’s dressin like n*ggas every gender do not make a difference they react the same when you come for their riches switch it!” – Jay Boogie
~unisex category~

CATEGORY PRIZE – $100

BODY

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WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY?

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UCE YOU GOT THE SCRATCH TO GO TO THE Rainbow GALA of the year!!!

NZ Room – STANDARD – ADULT
Includes drink on arrival, Canapes to die for & Cash Bar $125.00
NZ Room – EARLYBIRD – Group of 10
Get $115 tickets when purchasing in a group of 10
$1,150.00

We get asked all the time what exclusion looks like and for all intensive purposes this still remains one of the most pointless fucking questions. Because despite telling the happy little residents of the RAINBOW space what exclusion looks like we still don’t get to sit at the same table as everyone else.

INCLUSION LOOKS LIKE ACCESS AND ACCESS LOOKS LIKE AFFORDABILITY

Just know that everyone that matters will be at this year’s RAINBOW GALA celebrating the 30 year anniversary of Homosexual Law-reform. A milestone I might add that our current and previous governments, for the span of 30 years have done very little about advocating for among the 9 neighbouring Pacific Countries that still enforce punitive laws criminalising homosexuality, countries you, our core audience probably come from.

Just know that the people that matter will be there, like the community leaders, politicians, celebrities and cardboard personalities, the rainbow bankers, the tired social workers and health advocates and all the shiny old DRAG QUEENS, and probably even all their allies that love a good old faghag extravaganza .

But you know who won’t be there is BROKE asses like you and me and us. The prevailing sentiment and one that we are used too at the arse end of the rainbow, is knowing that you don’t matter, not in these circles and systems and deffs not at these parties. For all the access and inclusion drama, this is still nothing fucking new!!

PMO