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Taloi Havini, Habitat: Konawiru, 2016 (still) single-channel 16:9, HD. Courtesy of the artist and TBA21–Academy.
Opening March 20, 2021, the leading art and ocean advocacy organization TBA21–Academy will present a solo exhibition dedicated to artist Taloi Havini at the organization’s public venue Ocean Space, Venice.
Taloi Havini was born in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, in the South West Pacific Ocean. Currently based in Australia, her work takes on many forms including sculpture, film, photography, and immersive audio-video installations. A central element to her work are the human actions that occur over time and space. In all mediums, her practice perpetuates the desires for Indigenous Knowledge Systems to undermine the persistent colonial structures that aimed to annihilate them. She delves deeply into themes of representation, inheritance, habitats, and epistemologies of Oceania.
This exhibition by Taloi Havini is part of a two-year curatorial cycle entitled The Soul Expanding Ocean by Ocean Space’s 2021 and 2022 curator Chus Martínez. Having been in charge of The Current - a three-year fellowship program aimed to generate research and strengthen the friendship between artists, scientists, activists, and policymakers - Martínez sees friendship to fittingly articulate a mutuality among different practitioners based on affection, on a deep commitment to staying in touch, to stay attentive to each other’s work. And so, the exhibition program initiated with Taloi Havini’s new commission should be seen as the continuation of this collective effort: to understand the ocean through the senses, to analyze possibilities with affection, and to propose future scenarios intertwining imagination with knowledge.
In November and December 2020, Havini was a resident of Schmidt Ocean Institute's Artist-At-Sea program, observing the mapping of the Great Barrier Reef with state of the art technology on the R/V Falkor. Current global ambitions to map the world's seafloor by 2030 are gaining momentum. This process uses multibeam sonar systems that produce never seen before high-resolution cartography. Representation of habitat in this form is considered mark-making - and it is a western scientific race for knowledge as seen by the artist. In response, Havini will research how sound and other senses are used beyond western science as tools for measuring space. The intention is to reveal diverse narratives from non-European cultures, asking audiences to attune the senses and reconsider current knowledge of the oceans.
The commission for Ocean Space forms part of Havini’s largest solo exhibition in Europe to date. Created under conditions of restricted travel imposed by Covid-19, preparing the exhibition required a fresh imagination of distance and presence. Responding to this, the new work Havini creates specifically for Ocean Space in Venice aims to revitalize and give presence to a multitude of experiences in a space-time continuum amidst intersecting trajectories, pastimes, and lessons in deep-time listening.
The ways in which societies approach the ‘ocean’ is an expression of the value given to life itself. Through utilizing sound and other sensory mediums, Havini asks the audience to reconsider evolution. In deep-time listening, a continuum is created. The sound and the experience embodies Ocean Space through sequences created by the artist, but it remains within the visitors, evolving and as a physically embodied memory.
Alongside The Soul Expanding Ocean #1: Taloi Havini at Ocean Space, March 20 will also mark the re-opening of Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation curated by Daniela Zyman. The second chapter of this research exhibition raises a number of new issues and questions while continuing to unfold the complex processes taking place in the global ocean in the Anthropocene. The exhibition is on view until August 29, 2021, and will be further activated during the Venice Biennale of Architecture, opening in May 2021, connecting and contextualizing the exhibition with Territorial Agency’s research selected as part of the central pavilion entitled As One Planet, alongside the work of Olafur Eliasson, Sheila Kennedy, James Wescoat and others. On this occasion, the publication OCEANS Rising, a capacious accompaniment to the research conducted by Territorial Agency on the rapidly changing oceans and the intricate dialogue with a group of Ocean Fellows and invited scholars and artists held over several months during the outbreak of the Covid pandemics, is introduced to the public.
Also beginning in 2021 is the third cycle of The Current (working title: The Mediterraneans: “Thus waves come in pairs”, after Etel Adnan). Led by Barbara Casavecchia, The Current III is a transdisciplinary and transregional exercise in sensing, listening, thinking, and learning with - by connecting and supporting situated projects, collective pedagogies, and voices along the Mediterranean shores across the fields of art, culture, science, conservation, and activism.
2021 marks the 10th anniversary of TBA21–Academy and the exhibitions at Ocean Space are an integral part of the anniversary programming throughout the year, in Venice and in collaboration with international institutions; details to be announced soon.
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The Soul Expanding Ocean #1: Taloi Havini
March 20 – October 17, 2021
Curated by Chus Martínez
Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy
Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation
March 20 – August 29, 2021
Curated by Daniela Zyman
Commissioned by TBA21–Academy and co-produced with Luma Foundation
Live event with the Artist Taloi Havini and Curator Chus Martínez
December 11, 11 am CET, Facebook Live & Ocean Archive
Chiesa di San Lorenzo
Campo San Lorenzo, Castello 5069, 30122 Venice, Italy
TBA21–Academy is a contemporary art organization and cultural ecosystem fostering a deeper relationship to the Ocean through the lens of art to inspire care and action. For a decade, we have been an incubator for collaborative research, artistic production, and new forms of understanding by combining art, science and other knowledge systems, intertwining imagination and possibility in regenerative relationships, resulting in exhibitions, research, and policy interventions.
Ocean Space is a new planetary center for catalyzing ocean literacy, research, and advocacy through the arts. Established and led by TBA21–Academy and building on its expansive work over the past ten years, this new embassy for the oceans fosters engagement and collective action on the most pressing issues facing the oceans today. Opened in March of 2019, Ocean Space is inhabiting the Church of San Lorenzo in Venice.
Taloi Havini (b. 1981, Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea) currently lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Havini's work is often a personal response to the politics of location exploring contested sites and histories connected within Oceania; employing photography, sculpture, immersive video, and mixed-media installations. Working with living contemporary practitioners she is actively involved in community projects in Bougainville and Australia.
Havini’s artwork is held in public and private collections including the Sharjah Art Foundation, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, National Gallery of Victoria, KADIST, San Francisco, CA, USA. Taloi holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University and has exhibited in Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Sharjah Biennial 13, UAE, 3rd Aichi Triennial, Nagoya, 8th & 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art Queensland Art Gallery, GoMA, Brisbane.
Chus Martínez is a curator writer and educator based in Zurich. Since 2014 she is head of the Art Institute at the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel. She is also the expedition leader of The Current II (2018–20), a project initiated by TBA21–Academy. The Current is the inspiration behind Art is Ocean, a series of seminars and conferences held at the Art Institute which examines the role of artists in the conception of a new experience of nature. Additionally, in 2021 and 2022, Martínez will be Curator of Ocean Space, Venice, TBA21–Academy’s center for catalyzing ocean literacy, research, and advocacy through the arts.
Territorial Agency is an independent organization that combines architecture, analysis, advocacy, and action for integrated spatial transformation of contemporary territories. , founded by the architects Ann-Sofi Rönnskog and John Palmesino. Territorial Agency is engaged to strengthen the capacity of local and international communities in comprehensive spatial transformation in an age of climate change—the Anthropocene. Recent projects include Museum of Oil with Greenpeace, ZKM Karlsruhe, and the Chicago Architecture Biennial; Anthropocene Observatory with HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin; the Museum of Infrastructural Unconscious; North anon; Unfinishable Markermeer; Kiruna. They teach at the AA Architectural Association School of Architecture, London.
Daniela Zyman is the curator of the exhibition “Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation” and chief curator and artistic director of Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21). The organization’s mission is to commission, collect, and present the best of contemporary art through an ambitious program of exhibitions and events and to pursue urgent ecological, social, and political issues. Zyman joined TBA21 in 2003 and has played an instrumental role in shaping its exhibition and commissions program. Between 1995 and 2001, Zyman was chief curator of the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art in Vienna, which included the founding and programming of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles.
Barbara Casavecchia is a writer, independent curator, and educator based in Milan, where she teaches at the Department of Visual Cultures and Curatorial Practices of the Brera Academy since 2011. She currently holds a course in Critical Writing at NABA, Milan. Contributing editor of Frieze magazine, her articles and essays have been published in art-agenda, ArtReview, D/La Repubblica, Flash Art, Mousse, Nero, South, and Spike, amongst others, as well as in artist books and catalogues. In 2018, she curated the solo exhibition “Susan Hiller, Social Facts” at OGR, Turin. In 2020, she acted as Mentor of the Ocean Fellowship Program offered by TBA21–Academy at Ocean Space in Venice. In 2021–2023, Barbara is going to lead The Current III.
Territorial Agency: Oceans in Transformation is co-produced with Luma Foundation.
Taloi Havini, Habitat: Konawiru, 2016 (still) single-channel 16:9, HD. Courtesy of the artist and TBA21–Academy.
The Soul Expanding Ocean #1: Taloi Havini, at Ocean Space, Venice. Curated by Chus Martínez. Commissioned by TBA21–Academy. Design: Studio Ana Domínguez.
Taloi Havini, Habitat, 2018–2019 (still). HD, color, black & white, 5.1 surround sound, 10:33 mins. Courtesy of the artist.
Taloi Havini. Photo: Zan Wimberley
Chus Martínez. Photo: Nici Jost.
Chus Martínez. Photo: Nici Jost.