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). Taranaki’s surface and surroundings are embedded with a multitude of discourses, including seismic events, Māori mythology, and settler-colonial violence. To view and consider Taranaki is to simultaneously absorb these histories and events. This becomes a key influence in this body of work; the artist formulates methods of depicting 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 Taranaki through an intermediary. While addressing specific histories, this work more broadly question notions of representation as they relate to land and landscape, and how these representations may be altered through perception, distance and memory.