Lisa Reihana

1964 | Auckland, New Zealand
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Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

© Photo: Kallan MacLeod

New-Zealand visual artist.

Lisa Reihana (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tū) is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans film, sculpture, costume and body adornment, text and photography. Since the 1990s she has significantly influenced the development of contemporary art in Aotearoa New Zealand. She has earned an outstanding reputation as an artist, producer and cultural interlocutor with her attention to the complexities of contemporary photographic and cinema languages expressed in numerous ways. She has an ability to direct and choreograph seductively high-production values to explore complex ideas around identity and history, and the intersection of these ideas with concepts of place and community.
Her work explores colonisation, gender and representations of indigenous peoples in media and filmmaking, most notably through portraiture and often featuring friends and family members. She often looks to how stories of the past are told or those points in the past that have been overlooked, weaving mātauranga Māori through her technically ambitious and poetically nuanced work. Her art making is driven by a powerful connection to community, which informs her collaborative production method, grounded in working kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face).

L. Reihana represented New Zealand at the Venice Biennale in 2017 with the large-scale video installation in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (2015-17). The work premiered at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in May 2015 and has become a seminal work in Aotearoa New Zealand’s art historical canon. It has since been shown around the world and garnered widespread critical acclaim.
Other notable solo exhibitions include Mai i te aroha, ko te aroha, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, New Zealand (2008); Lisa Reihana: Digital Marae, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, New Zealand (2007); and Native Portraits n.19897, Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea, Rome, Italy (2007).
Her work has featured in important group exhibitions nationally and internationally including Oceania, Royal Academy, London (2018); Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists, Te Papa Tongarewa: Wellington (2018); Tai Whetuki – House of Death Redux, The Walters Prize 2016, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland (2016); Suspended Histories, Museum Van Loon, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2013); Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years, Plug In ICA, Winnipeg, Canada (2011); Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum, New York (2007); and Paradise Now? Contemporary Art from the Pacific, Asia Society Museum, New York (2004).

In 2014 Reihana was awarded an Arts Laureate Award by the Arts Foundation of New Zealand, the Te Tohu Toi Ke Te Waka Toi Maori Arts Innovation Award from Creative New Zealand in 2015, and in 2018 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

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Zoe Hoeberigs

Publication made in partnership with Contemporary HUM, with funding from Creative New Zealand.

© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions

Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lisa Reihana, Nomads of the Sea, 2019, 4-channel 3D UHD Video, 5-channel audio, 19’ mins, © ADAGP, Paris

Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lisa Reihana, Tai Whetuki – House of Death Redux, 2015-16, ultra-HD, widescreen cinema aspect ratio, two-channel video, sound, 15’ mins, © ADAGP, Paris

Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lisa Reihana, Nomads of the Sea, 2019, 4-channel 3D UHD Video, 5-channel audio, 19’ mins, © ADAGP, Paris

Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lisa Reihana, In Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015-17, single-channel video, 16K ultra-HD video, colour, sound, 64’ mins, © ADAGP, Paris

Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lisa Reihana, In Pursuit of Venus [infected], on display as part of Cinemania at Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2015-17, single-channel video, 16K ultra-HD video, colour, sound, 64’ mins, © ADAGP, Paris

Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lisa Reihana, IHI, On display at the Aotea Centre, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, 2020, ultra HD Video, 12’ mins, © ADAGP, Paris

Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lisa Reihana, IHI, On display at the Aotea Centre, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, 2020, ultra HD Video, 12’ mins, © ADAGP, Paris

Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lisa Reihana, IHI, On display at the Aotea Centre, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, 2020, ultra HD Video, 12’ mins, © ADAGP, Paris

Lisa Reihana — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

Lisa Reihana, IHI, On display at the Aotea Centre, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, 2020, ultra HD Video, 12’ mins, © ADAGP, Paris

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