Ugly (Chicago, IL), November 17, 2019 - January 17, 2020
considers land use, perception, and the pictorial formation of landscape as relayed through Taranaki Mounga (Mount Taranaki), a dormant stratovolcano located near the artist’s hometown of Ngāmotu, Aotearoa (New Plymouth, New Zealand). Mount Taranaki’s surface and surroundings are embedded with a multitude of histories, including seismic events, Māori mythology, and settler-colonial violence. In looking at and experiencing Mount Taranaki, one is also absorbing these histories and events. These become a key influence in this body of work; the artist formulates methods of depicting Mount Taranaki that take these discourses into account while also referencing and moving beyond traditional conventions of pictorial landscape — conventions long used to perpetuate and legitimize colonial expansion. Photographs, found image, video, and sound come together to consider Taranaki as a site of complexity and multiplicity. The presentation of this work at a great distance from its origins further invites a deeper questioning of the capacity to experience Mount Taranaki through an intermediary. While addressing specific histories, this work will more broadly question notions of representation as they relate to land and landscape, and how these representations may be altered through perception and memory.