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.
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