Lisa Reihana

Moving image tableau, ‘in Pursuit of Venus [infected]’ 2015 by New Zealand artist Lisa Reihana

Reihana’s work transforms a popular nineteenth-century panoramic wallpaper depicting particular ideas of the South Pacific into an immersive world filled with living, breathing people and cultures.

“in Pursuit of Venus” is a moving image interpretation of the French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique.

In Neoclassical France, entrepreneur Joseph Dufour used the latest printing innovations to produce Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique (1804), a sophisticated twenty panel scenic wallpaper.


© Lisa Reihana

The twenty-five metre long (and four metre high) wall is a screen for a continually moving scroll, drifting from right to left with no fixed centre, but like a sequence of comic frames (with no edges) where certain characters reappear in different juxtaposed scenes. Within the sea vistas, rolling downs and lush vegetation of Charvet’s coastal landscape (a utopian version of Tahiti), Reihana sets out her vignettes in spatially orchestrated sites of foreground, middleground and long distance.

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