FAFSWAG presents FA’AAFA Directed by Pati Solomona Tyrell Featuring poetry by Tusiata Avia Performed by Falencie Filipo, Moe Laga, Joey Tinai & Pati Solomona Tyrell
As a lens based media artist Tyrell’s story telling is immersive and world building. At its centre is his body, his culture and his community. Described in the image note for the publication ‘BLACK MARKS ON THE WHITE PAGE’ edited by Witi Ihimaera and Tina Makereti, Fa’aafa is referred to as…
“A portal into another world, its colours saturated by night and desire and the youthful swagger of its subjects, whose eyes issue a challenge and invitation”
Devised in 2015 as a solo performance Fa’aafa has travelled across Aotearoa for the past two years as a cultural Acti-VA-tion; a term coined by iconic Pacific artist Rosana Raymond. The ‘VA’ refers to a Samoan philosophical understanding of space as ‘active’, not as empty and passive, but activated by people, relationships and reciprocal obligations.
This powerful interdisciplinary piece of storytelling continues to defy genre definition. Invoking dense cultural knowledge and translating Samoan epistemologies within a contemporary art language of movement and audio visuals for modern audiences. Dislocated from cultural space this works precarious form and other worldly aesthetic still make it difficult to categorise. Fa’aafa by its simplest definition is an ‘experience’. Fluid in language and physical phrase as it is in context and genre, Fa’aafa (A Samoan conception of half) is always in flux, existing in duality as a live performance and also a digital moving image artwork.
Recently featured as part of the Yirramboi First Nations Indigenous Arts Festival in Melbourne and MCA Art-bar at the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney Australia, Fa’aafa was delivered in its last iteration as a solo performance in the ‘Tama Toa’ showcase as part of the 2017 Pacific Dance Festival in Auckland.
Tyrell’s reimagining of the work for Basement Theatre will see Fa’aafa expand on its cultural mythology and narrative universe. Featuring a new cast of emerging and established performers, and an entirely new soundscape and visual design, with poetry by award winning Samoan poet Tusiata Avia, Fa’aafa will adorn a new silhouette for a new audience.