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Taloi Havini – Reclamation
Taloi Havini‘s first publication Reclamation is a visceral account of Havini’s ongoing investigation into history, the environment and nation-building within the social structures of her birthplace, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The exhibition, Reclamation, created specifically for exhibition at Artspace in Sydney, is aptly named. It simultaneously draws attention to Australia’s colonial relationship to Bougainville (the conflicts and injustices, the struggle for self-determination), and reclaims aspects of Bougainville’s culture, identity, and inter-generational connections to land that have been undermined through the imposition of western ideologies.
Reclamation, in Havini’s words, is ‘an honouring of my ancestral homeland and my people‘. Through a continuous unfolding, Havini expands understandings of Bougainville, adding new narratives that are informed by indigenous knowledge and shared experiences. Her work is a reclamation of land and country, rewriting histories and narratives so that the people of Bougainville become the agents of their own representations.
Co-published by Artspace and Formist, and presented in a metallic copper slip case, the publication is an immersive experience constructed to utilise unique four-page spreads that allows it to be read and understood in multiple ways. Reclamation features enlightening essays by Australian Pacific Art curator Ruth McDougall and Oceania academic and writer Nicholas Thomas, alongside specially commissioned hymns by orator, songwoman and artist Sēini ‘SistaNative’ Taumoepeau, excerpts from an unpublished autobiography by Havini’s late father, Moses Singaski Kenasa Matamana Havini, as well as Taloi Havini in conversation with researcher Nabil Ahmed and highly respected Nakaripa elder and curator Sana Balai. These texts accompany combinations of research, historical images, working images from Havini’s rich practice and a rigorous survey of Havini’s practice to date.
264 pages, 24 x 30 cm, softcover + slipcase, Formist x Artspace (Sydney).
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