Author(s): Lisa Reihana
Lisa Reihana: Emissaries is a beautifully designed and exquisitely illustrated examination of one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most ambitious artworks, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], for its presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale. Comprising seven essays by leading scholars and curators, a lively conversational exchange, and insights into the career of Lisa Reihana (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tu), the book provides a captivating account of the sources that influenced the artist’s expansive creative endeavour and how the Venice exhibition might be understood within the context of transnational indigenous art making.
Lisa Reihana was born in 1964, Auckland (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Hine, Ngāi Tū), and lives and works in Auckland. Reihana will represent New Zealand in 2017 at the Venice Biennale. She is a nominated artist in Walters Prize 2016 for "In Pursuit of Venus [infected]", 2015, which was first exhibited at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in 2015.
Reihana has an extensive exhibition history including her solo exhibition Native Portraits at MLAC, Italy; Global Feminisms, Brooklyn Museum; the Asia-Pacific Triennial, Queensland Art Gallery, Australia; the Liverpool Biennale, UK; Pasifika Styles, Cambridge, UK. Digital Marae, shown at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth in 2007, was shortlisted for the Walters Prize 2008 and Anne Landa Art Award, AGNSW, Sydney.
Digital Marae 2001 employed large scale photography, short videos and aural soundscapes to create an environment which is a culturally rich meditation on Māori in modern times. This work has been shown extensively and continues to garner international renown. She is renowned for several important early digital animations and film works including Wog Features, 1990 and A Māori Dragon Story, 1995.
Reihana’s work is held in private and public collections including Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington; Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland; Australia National Gallery, Canberra; Staatliche Museum, Berlin; Susan O’Connor Foundation, Texas and Brooklyn Museum, New York. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University and a Masters in Design from UNITEC School of Visual Art and Design.