Some Of The Scenery We Behold (2018-20) addresses Aotearoa New Zealand’s position as a sought after real estate investment among wealthy American citizens following the 2016 US Presidential election. For magnates of tech and finance, Aotearoa’s perceived geographic isolation from global catastrophe and lack of political strife produced a desirable escape point. As a New Zealand citizen living in the United States during this period, I became curious about the positions and identities of these land buyers. With this, I began scouring luxury New Zealand property listings with an international reach, intrigued to see how they were presented. The expansive images and grandiose language in these listings had alarming similarities to the rhetoric used to construct, convey and uphold New Zealand’s settler colonial legacy, in which land/landscape becomes currency. In response to this, I began to insert keywords from these listings into the metadata of their respective images -- pitting the two systems of information used to enhance and sell this land against each other, which instead disrupt and obscure it. The removal of the lands recognizability and identity becomes a heightened critique of its original representation, and the inherent biases these contain.
While restrictions have since been introduced on land purchasing of this type, the onset of COVID-19 has seen the original intentions of these purchasers initiated. Amidst the virus’ outbreak, discussion of this topic has resurfaced, especially with reports of increased numbers of private jets arriving in New Zealand airports from overseas. It is with this I rebooted the aforementioned exercise with a series of physically redacted postcards depicting the properties, attracted to the postcard’s communicative structure of image and text. Here, the structure of the listing’s language determines what pictorial information is visible, and what is removed.