Presented by Artspace and Sydney Festival, Reclamation is the first Australian solo exhibition from Taloi Havini. This body of work centres on acts of resistance and self-determination, using form and material to assert a speculative space of collective agency. Employing processes of collaborative creation, Havini’s work traces the significance of shared knowledge from land tenure and customary designs to temporal architectures.
Havini probes intersections of history, identity, and nation-building within the matrilineal social structures of her birthplace, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. Reclamation considers the resonance of locality, ceremony, and material culture defined and translated through contemporary practice.
Reclamation looks to destabilise dominant narratives of place as well as colonising practices of documentation and mapping. She creates an embedded perspective of how land is represented that incorporates Indigenous Knowledge Systems and lived experience. Havini weaves together the tensions of precarity and resilience, vulnerability and activism.
The exhibition includes a new iteration of Havini’s Habitat series, an immersive multi-channel video and sound installation. This is an ongoing investigation exploring the legacy of resource extraction and Australia’s fraught relationship in the Pacific.
Havini’s new site-specific installation, Reclamation, was created collaboratively with her Hakö clan members. The sculptural works lean and suspend into themselves as a form of collective map-making. Underlying the ephemeral installation of cane and earth, are questions about the ways in which we relate within temporal spaces; how borders are defined and claimed as well as the value of impermanence and embodied knowledge over fixed historical understandings.
Reclamation considers both personal and political narratives at a time when communities across the globe find themselves at the tipping point of environmental and social change.
Join us on Sunday, 19 January, for a day of public programs including an artist talk and a series of talks exploring the exhibition and discussing the history and the future of Bougainville, as the world's newest nation state. Full schedule here.
Taloi Havini’s practice centres on the deconstruction of the politics of location, and the transmission of Indigenous Knowledge Systems. Her work responds to the history and culture of Bougainville, where she was born, and acknowledges her people’s deep connection to land despite years of conflict and civil war.
In her research, Havini engages with living cultural practitioners and Oceanian material collections and archives. She often responds to these experiences and sites of investigation with experimental ceramic installations, print, photographic and video works in solo and collaborative works. She is actively involved in cultural heritage projects, exhibitions, research and community development in Melanesia and Australia.
Her work has been seen in the Honolulu Biennial 2019; 8th and 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; The National 2017: New Australian Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Sharjah Biennial 13, and 3rd Aichi Triennial, Nagoya, among other exhibitions nationally and worldwide.
Reclamation is presented by Artspace in partnership with Sydney Festival and is supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its funding and advisory body, the NSW Government through Create NSW and the Gordon Darling Foundation. Reclamation was co-commissioned and produced by Artspace, Sydney and the Samdani Art Foundation for the 2020 Dhaka Art Summit.