Ideas Platform

Artspace, New Zealand
Imaginary Date Line

3 Aug – 16 Aug 2015

Above: 'Imaginary Date Line', installation view, Artspace, Sydney, 2015. Photo supplied.
43–51 Cowper Wharf Roadway
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Sydney Australia

Samoa, officially known as the Independent State of Samoa is an Oceanian country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. In 2010, Samoa decided to switch time zones by moving the International Date Line from its western to its eastern border on December 29, 2011. A day was lost in the calendar. The International Date Line (IDL) runs from the north to the south poles and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next. As a construction of the human mind, it is an imaginary line. It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° longitude but deviating to pass around some territories and island groups.

Inspired by the day Samoa skipped (or lost) some years ago, the screening program, Imaginary Date Line is a selection of video art, made by artists from the Pacific region, many of whom live in New Zealand. These works are vastly different and produced by artists of diverse backgrounds, though connections run across the selection. The concept of whakapapa, or genealogy, structures the works presented – ancestors mingle with their descendants; move through them, speak through them. Each work makes use of the durational qualities of video, teasing out pace and rhythm, the past and the present and unpicking the conventions of cinema and documentary video. Storytelling is central to these works. Old tales, myths and legends, are interwoven with narratives of contemporary experience. Tradition is shown to be in contention with individual identity, history in dialogue with the now.

Artspace is an intersection between contemporary art practices, exhibition making and critical thinking in Auckland, New Zealand bridging the universal with the contextual. As an independent art institution, Artspace receives generous core funding from Creative New Zealand, and is kindly supported by ASB Community Trust, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Chartwell Trust, Artist Alliance as well as the ARTSPACE Benefactors Programme+.