Also written by The Physics Room
A Wandering Thing presents new work by Sophie Bannan and Josh Harris-Harding. The exhibition brings together two individual bodies of work that are tied together by shared research trajectories. The artists’ lines of inquiry and research interests are distinct but converge in a way that broadens the working context of the other.
Bannan’s contribution to the exhibition includes a photographic series and video (with soundtrack by Motte / Anita Clark) which seeks to reimagine human relationships to landscape through challenging dominant narratives and hierarchies of systems of knowledge. Waiuta (Te Tai Poutini, Aotearoa), is a gold mining ghost town where Bannan’s paternal family lived until the mine ceased operation in 1951. By way of multi-modal art making, including image and object making, as well as documentation of archives, Waiuta is used as a testing site with the aim of generating productive conflicts between different systems of knowledge, in order to develop a complex, agential relationship to landscape in the late-capitalist present.
Harris-Harding presents three videos comprising narrative text and images that circle around human relationships to water. Harris’ research is concerned with the way selfhood and culture is determined by the contingent fashioning of an outside, or the nature-culture dualism. Water is an "unruly commodity", a core component of the human experience, an agent of control or chaos that crosses the porous boundary between nature and culture. These works operate in the convergence of power structures, language, and dominion over nature.
Sophie Bannan (b. 1989, New Zealand) is an artist and writer living in Tāmaki Makaurau. She co-founded and directed artist-run initiatives Personal Best (Auckland), Strines (Melbourne) and North Projects (Christchurch). Recent texts include catalogue essays for 90 Canon Homeshow, curated by Louise Palmer (2017); and Miranda’s Parkes’ Frances Hodgkins Fellowship exhibition, The Merrier (2017). Recent exhibition projects include Hut for a Sensuous Goldminer, with Daegan Wells, Meanwhile Gallery, Wellington (2018); Stromlo, with Dan Nash, RM, Auckland (2016); Backwater, North Projects, Christchurch (2015); Thinking About Building, (group show curated by Melanie Oliver), The Physics Room, Christchurch (2014); and The Optimists, with John Ward-Knox, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin (2014).
Joshua Harris-Harding (b. 1989, New Zealand) is an artist and writer from Tāmaki Makaurau. His research engages with the contingencies of language and the nature-culture dualism through myth, history, and narrative. Recent exhibition projects include Sports, Demo Gallery, Auckland (2018), Inconsolata, with Vanessa Crofskey, RM Gallery, Auckland (2018), Lapidary, Projectspace, Auckland (2017), and contributing text for The River Remains: ake tonu atu, with Olyvia Hong, Artspace (2018).