Lagi-Maama Tok Stori with Cosmin Costina and Vivian Ziherl (Para Site, Hong Kong)
Artspace Aotearoa are proud to be part of the latest Lagi-Maama Tok Stori on Monday 8 March 2021 via zoom. Kolokesa U. Māhina-Tuai and Toluma’anave Barbara Makuati-Afitu will be facilitating the opportunity to connect with co-curators of Koloa: Fafine, ‘Aati Moe e Tekinolosia / Women, Art and Technology Cosmin Costinas and Vivian Ziherl from Para Site Gallery (Hong Kong).
To join the conversation via zoom please register here: firstname.lastname@example.org
zoom meeting link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMvdeCuqD0rHNOzTWzBnecjU8D0VtD7PNYj
Lagi-Maama Academy & Consultancy
Lagi-Maama Academy & Consultancy is a cultural organisation based in Aotearoa New Zealand, set up by Toluma’anave Barbara Makuati-Afitu, of Samoan heritage, and Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai, of Tongan heritage. Toluma’anave has a background in stakeholder management and community engagement and Kolokesa in Art History, Social Anthropology and Museums and Heritage Studies.
“We mediate at the intersection of Indigenous communities and institutional settings to create a ‘safer’ time-space by embedding different ways of knowing, seeing & doing.”
As an Academy they are involved in knowledge production by privileging our Indigenous ways of knowing and seeing, and as a Consultancy we apply this knowledge by privileging our Indigenous ways of doing! Their work connects and builds bridges between institutions and communities through research and writing, community engagement, curatorial advice, capacity and capability building, cultural intelligence and cross-cultural approaches.
The name Lagi-Maama was gifted by Hūfanga-He-Ako-Moe-Lotu Professor ‘Ōkusitino Māhina to symbolically and literally represent their ancestral lineages and connections, but also to genuinely reflect the foundation and approach of the areas that they work in, and what they do, in true service of Moana Oceania peoples.The literal and symbolic meaning of Lagi-Maama is drawn from Tongan Indigenous knowledge and foundation.
Lagi = symbolically means Sāmoa and literally means sky. It is linked to the realm of heavenly, godly or divine beings. It also references the future and is associated with taboo and chiefliness.
Maama = symbolically means Tonga and literally means lights. It is linked to earth and the domain of earthly, humanly or secular beings. It also references the present and associated with enlightenment.
Pulotu = symbolically means Fiji. It references the past and is regarded as the ancestral homeland and after-world of the peoples of Maama (Tonga) and Lagi (Sāmoa).
“We embrace our moana sense of time and space where in the present we symbolically walk forward into the past and backwards into the future, where the already-taken-place past (Pulotu / Fiji) and the yet-to-take-place future (Lagi / Sāmoa) are constantly mediated in the ever-changing, conflicting present (Maama / Tonga).
So this means that in the present, Lagi-Maama literally and in reality place the past in front of us as guidance, to inform the unknown future by the refined knowledge of our peoples and experiences of the past. All of this is constantly negotiated and mediated in the work that we do in the present.”
Para Site Hong Kong
Para Site is Hong Kong’s leading contemporary art centre and one of the oldest and most active independent art institutions in Asia. It produces exhibitions, publications, discursive, and educational projects aimed at forging a critical understanding of local and international phenomena in art and society.
Cosmin Costinas (b. 1982, Romania) is the Executive Director/Curator of Para Site, Hong Kong since 2011. He was a Guest Curator of Dakar Biennale 2018 - La Biennale de l’Art africain contemporain-DAK’ART, Dakar (2018); Guest Curator at the Dhaka Art Summit ’18 (2018); Co-curator of the 10th Shanghai Biennale (2014); Curator of BAK-basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht (2008-2011); Co-curator of the 1st Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg (2010); and Editor of documenta 12 Magazine, documenta 12, Kassel (2005–2007).
At Para Site, Costinas oversaw the institution's major expansion and relocation to a new home in 2015, and curated or co- curated the exhibitions: An Opera of Animals (2019); A beast, a god, and a line (touring at MAIIAM, Chiang Mai, 2020; Kunsthall Trondheim, 2019; Dhaka Art Summit ‘18, TS1/The Secretariat, Yangon, and Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 2018); Movements at an Exhibition, Manuel Pelmus (2017-2018); Soil and Stones, Souls and Songs (touring at MCAD, Manila and Jim Thompson Art Center, Bangkok, 2016-2017); Afterwork (touring at ILHAM, Kuala Lumpur, 2016-2017); The World is Our Home. A Poem on Abstraction (2015-2016); Sheela Gowda (2015); the conference Is the Living Body the Last Thing Left Alive? The new performance turn, its histories and its institutions (2014; the homonymous major volume of original essays was published in 2017 with Sternberg Press, Berlin); Great Crescent: Art and Agitation in the 1960s—Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (touring at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2013-2015 and MUAC, Mexico City, 2016); A Journal of the Plague Year (touring at The Cube, Taipei; Arko Art Center, Seoul; and Kadist Art Foundation and The Lab, San Francisco; 2013-2015); Taiping Tianguo, A History of Possible Encounters: Ai Weiwei, Frog King Kwok, Tehching Hsieh, and Martin Wong in New York (touring at SALT, Istanbul; NUS Museum, Singapore; e-flux, New York; 2012-2014), a.o. At BAK in the Netherlands, he curated Spacecraft Icarus 13. Narratives of Progress from Elsewhere (2011), as well as solo exhibitions of Olga Chernysheva (2011), Rabih Mroue (2010, touring at Iniva - Institute of International Visual Arts, London, Lunds konsthall, Lund; tranzit+display, Prague; and Wurttembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, 2011), Boris Charmatz (2010), and Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor (2009), as well as the 1st Former West Congress (with Maria Hlavajova, 2009). He co-authored the novel Philip (2007) and has edited and contributed his writing to numerous books, magazines, and exhibition catalogues and has taught and lectured at different universities, art academies, and institutions across the world.
Vivian Ziherl, writer and curator, is Research and Program Manager at Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art in the Netherlands, where she has resided since undertaking de Appel Curatorial Programme (2010-2011). Her interests include contemporary art, cultural heritage and archival practice, performance, institutional processes and the frontier as a threshold of colonial modernity. Ziherl founded the research and exhibitions platform Frontier Imaginaries whose projects include Trade Markings (2017) at the Van Abbemuseum, which staged the falcon, the cigar and the computer chip as visual triggers to expanded Dutch histories. She curated the 7th edition of the Jerusalem Show, as part of the 3rd Qalandiya International, also as part of Frontier Imaginaries and titled Before and After Origins (2016). Here contributions by artists from Palestine, Australia, Burma, South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands and the Syrian Golan, among others, shared works together with cultural archives such as Bethlehem Shell engraving and the Tawfic Canaan Amulets Collection. Her first edition of Frontier Imaginaries took place in Brisbane as two paired exhibitions No Longer at Ease and The Life of Lines (2016), exploring the intimate and extimate fold of modernity through the history and politics of Australia.
Many of Frontier Imaginaries’ new work commissions have also been co-presented, such as Gordon Hookey’s MURRILAND! together with documenta 14 (2017), and Wendelien van Oldenborgh’s Squat/(Anti)Squat with the Dutch Pavilion of the Venice Biennale (2017). Her work with Frontier Imaginaries has also delved into institutional processes and professional structures. The expanded symposium "Humans of the Institution" (2017), co-presented with University of Bergen Curatorial Practice, gathered curatorial freelancers as well as their institutional colleagues to discuss precarious working conditions. The symposium culminated in a series of working groups, while an ongoing Curatorial Freelancers’ Working Group has since been established in the Netherlands. Through Frontier Imaginaries, Ziherl also initiated "As Long As It Takes!", a community-led acquisition in partnership with the HipHopHuis, University of Colour, Bijlmer Parktheatre and Van Abbemuseum that has forged an ongoing process since 2017, culminating in 2020 with a work chosen and mediated by the project’s community partners.
Her more recent publications include as a contributor to the Frieze ‘Decolonising Culture’ survey (2018), guest editor of e-flux Journal #90 "Trade Markings" (2018), as editor of the monograph Summoning Time, of the work of Indigenous (Waanyi) artist Gordon Hookey (2017). Ziherl is a PhD candidate in Curatorial Studies at Monash University Melbourne, with external supervision by Denise Ferreira da Silva.