Artspace to release publication documenting Taloi Havini’s RECLAMATION

Reclamation, the first publication by Bougainville-born artist Taloi Havini, is now available at Artspace. Havini’s ongoing investigation into the history, environment, and nation-building within the social structures of her birthplace, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, is documented in Reclamation.

Havini’s Reclamation exhibition, which took place at Artspace in 2020, sought to draw attention to Australia’s colonial relationship with Bougainville, as well as to reclaim aspects of Bougainville’s culture, identity, and intergenerational connections to land that have been undermined by the imposition of western ideologies. Her work is about reclaiming land and country, rewriting histories and narratives so that the people of Bougainville can become the agents of their own representations.

The publication, which is presented in a metallic copper slip case and co-published by Artspace and Formist Editions, is an immersive experience constructed to use unique four-page spreads that allow it to be read and understood in multiple ways.

Co-published by Artspace and Formist Editions, the publication, which is presented in a metallic copper slip case, is an immersive experience constructed to utilise unique four-page spreads that allows it to be read and understood in multiple ways. It features enlightening essays from QAGOMA’s Curator of Pacific Art Ruth McDougall, and Oceania academic and writer Nicholas Thomas; specially commissioned hymns by Orator, Songwoman and artist Sēini ‘SistaNative’ Taumoepeau; excerpts from an unpublished autobiography by Havini’s late father, Moses Havini; as well as Havini in conversation with transdisciplinary writer and scholar Nabil Ahmed and highly respected Nakaripa elder and curator Sana Balai.

Havini was born in Arawa, Autonomomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. She currently lives and works in Meeanjin/Brisbane. Her work is often a personal response to the politics of location. She employs photography, sculpture, immersive video and mixed-media installations to explore contested sites and histories in the Oceania region. She has exhibited internationally, including at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Ocean Space, Venice; and Sharjah Biennial 13, United Arab Emirates.

Co-editors Alexie Glass-Kantor and Michelle Newton said, “This is the fourth in a series of monographs focusing on leading Australian women artists published by Artspace. Taloi has had a remarkable career with a solo exhibition at Artspace that has been shortly followed by this expanded publication. The making of this publication has been a truly collaborative process with Taloi, Formist and Artspace, and one that has been meticulously overseen by cultural Elder, Sana Balai. The book invites audiences to step into Taloi’s world, and to honour her deep ancestral connection to her birthplace, Bougainville. It has been a privilege to work with Taloi and her community on this book, and we are excited for it to reach new audiences.

Reclamation will be available from 11th November directly from Formist Editions, as well as select bookstores and art galleries.

Taloi Havini’s RECLAMATION

Taloi Havini’s work will next be seen at the Seoul Museum of Art from 14th December 2021 to 6th March 2022 as part of 경로를 재탐색합니다 UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA, a major exhibition of Australian art co-curated by Artspace.

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