Exhibition Essays

Ko wai a Māpihi? This is not water.

April 2022

Reflections from Left Bank

Hana Buchanan

Hoake! Walk with me. Let’s Go!
Rukuhia! Swim with me. Let’s Flow!

We’re off to ENJOY 211 Left Bank Te Aro 6011

Cae Te Wheoro Heke and Nick Denton, Portraits of Waimapihi, 2022, digital prints. Ahu ki te Pukeahu, 2022, vinyl. Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.

Cae Te Wheoro Heke and Nick Denton, Portraits of Waimapihi, 2022, digital prints. Ahu ki te Pukeahu, 2022, vinyl. Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.

     a. Left Bank
 

Left Bank
Rive Gauche
South side of the Seine.
Facing west towards the Ocean
Direction of current
Determining its name.

Right Bank
Rive Droite
North side of the Seine.
Time is short, lol
Let’s cut to the chase
Commerce vs Art?
Money vs Culture?
I don’t know quite how to start…

Left Bank, the historic heart
known for literary cafes.
Libraries, high schools, universités.
Artists, writers, poets,
counter culture and creativity.
Sounds cool, and you know it!

 

Right Bank, known for:
Its former royal residence
(now the Louvre Museum),
Its department stores,
Its mansions,
And its commercial
business districts.
(Hmmm,…I mean…)
Yeah?
Sure?  Let’s do it.

 

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     e. Engari, engari…

 

Ka huri taku aro
Ki te Tai Hau-ā-uru
Kureitanga rā o aku tini waka….

 

Enjoy, Left Bank, TE ARO

 

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     i. Te Aro

 

Standing on Left Bank
Looking in
Whiteflecks dancing
On window panes.
Windows
Glass
Made from sand
Sand
Made from stones
Stones
From rocks
Rocks breaking down
Moving, rolling, spinning, eroding.
By waters
Flowing
Through waters
Over years
Thousands of years
Millions even
(What was that earlier about ‘time is short?’. Lol anō. Time never ends kē, nē?).

Water, everywhere!
Water, connected to everything!
Ko te wai
Te puna ora
O te katoa.

 

Entering the gallery (Rūma Tahi)
Oh, cosy!
Golden armchairs,
Golden sofas,
Tasseled lampshades!
Looks like a home.
Ka pai.

Cae Te Wheoro Heke and Nick Denton, Portraits of Waimapihi, 2022, digital prints (detail), wall painting and vinyl. Aro Ki Te Aro Pā, 2022, vinyl. Toi kupu Hana Buchanan, “Aperira 7 2022 Te Aro P̄ā”, 2022.  John Pearse, Breaking up of soil at Te Aro flat after deluge of rain, 1853, original watercolour, reproduced as digital print, 2022. Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.

Cae Te Wheoro Heke and Nick Denton, Portraits of Waimapihi, 2022, digital prints (detail), wall painting and vinyl. Aro Ki Te Aro Pā, 2022, vinyl. Toi kupu Hana Buchanan, “Aperira 7 2022 Te Aro P̄ā”, 2022.  John Pearse, Breaking up of soil at Te Aro flat after deluge of rain, 1853, original watercolour, reproduced as digital print, 2022. Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.

On the left
A hallway table.
Presentational,
Presentable,
Legitimate.­
Old school styles.
Family portraits on deep green wall.
Framed.
Important.
Celebrated, cherished and honoured.
Exalted!

This tupuna is tūturu.
This tupuna is tawhito.
This tupuna is also a mokopuna.
She is Water.
She is then, she is now.
She is a constant.
Seen, unseen,
Heard, unheard.
Flowing! 

Rukuhia! Flow with me!

Adjusting to centre,
White flecks dancing on warm white wall.
Generations and
Generations and
Generations.
Te Whakapapa o te Wai.
See, I told you she was a mokopuna.
Snuggling in near māmā, near Parawhenuamea. 

Parawhenumea, from:
Te Wehenga Nui
(Auē te mamae e!),
Te Tangi me te Aroha,
Te Hekenga Roimata.
Parawhenuamea, of the Mountains
And Kiwa, of the Oceans
—her parents—
Producing
All
the Waters
of this Earth. 

This tupuna is tūturu,
This tupuna is tawhito,
This tupuna is mokopuna.
Ko wai ia? This tupuna is Water.

Ka rawe.

 

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A simple turn to the right won’t be enough now...
But do try, do your best!
Turn yourself inside out,
Round and round,
Upside down.
Are you flipsy flopsy?
Nice and topsy turvy?
Ka pai, kua rite. 

Philosophy 101
Epistemology - Theories of Knowledge.
“If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
No.
Knowledge.
Derived only by experience,
By sense perception.
Testable, empirically.
Be sure to distinguish
Between
Justifiable Belief 
 and Opinion.
Beware unfounded, untestable Opinion.

Got it?
Ka pai. 

But know, also, there are some cool outs…
E.g.
While,
generally speaking, 
 you must be able to test, to prove
Justifiable Beliefs….
you can also just go for
"A Coherent Set of Beliefs”
(Explainer - if something doesn’t quite fit, just make a complex web of fittingness and say
“It is So!” and
Voilà! Your theory of knowledge and true facts is Good to Go!)

[*Tune in next time for:
Price Theory,
Monetary Values,
Property and Labour, and
what makes an Asset an Asset].

You still with me?
Sorry, it’s so confusing.
I’m trying to help explain
The whakapapa of those pipes….
Those huge grey pipes
On the cold white wall.
The numbers,
The measurements,
Equations and graphs:

Cae Te Wheoro Heke and Nick Denton, Waimapihi Stormwater Pipe Cross-Sections, 2022, wall painting and vinyl (detail). Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.

Cae Te Wheoro Heke and Nick Denton, Waimapihi Stormwater Pipe Cross-Sections, 2022, wall painting and vinyl (detail). Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.

Asset WCC SWP031454, Aro St Park,
Asset ID, Ghuznee St, Date Installed: 1931,
Asset ID, Te Aro Park, Depth: three thousand and fifty millimetres,
Asset ID Taranaki Wharf, Material: Concrete.

(Auē te mamae e)

I’m trying to help explain
That according to this whakapapa
It is actually quite coherent, and empirically provably justifiable
To
Quite
Simply
State
“Water Is Not Water”
(did you catch that?)
“Water Is Not Water…”
Oh Flipsy Flopsy
Topsy Turvy…
“Water is not water while in any pipe, tank or cistern.”
Voilà!
It
Is

So!

 

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     o. Enjoy

 

Immersing in Waimāpihi (Rūma Rua)
Balm, Balm
Rongoā, Rongoā.
Kawakawa, oh yes, that helps!

Let’s have a wee rest in the room at the back…

Eyes closed
Chair rocking
Pūtōrino, Violin.
Swirling, whirling
Trickling waters.
Gushing currents,
Gentle flows.

Opening to greens and yellows:
Plants are breathing,
Moving in the breeze.
Fish are swimming
Flitting and twitching.
Surprising! Illuminating!
Dancing lights.

Oh, Waimāpihi!
Your precious waters,
May they flow,
May they flow!

Your many lessons,
May they be revealed,
May they be revealed!

Nick Denton and Cae Te Wheoro Heke, Te Arā Waimapihi, 2022. Two channel digital video. Sound composed and performed by Ruby Solly. Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.

Nick Denton and Cae Te Wheoro Heke, Te Arā Waimapihi, 2022. Two channel digital video. Sound composed and performed by Ruby Solly. Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.

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     u. 

 

Ū
Wai
Waiū

Water, everywhere,
Everything.
Water, connected,
Water, connecting,

Ko te Wai,
Te Puna Ora
O te Katoa.

Cae Te Wheoro Heke and Nick Denton, Te Whakapapa o te Wai, 2022, digital print and wall mounted vinyl. Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.  

Cae Te Wheoro Heke and Nick Denton, Te Whakapapa o te Wai, 2022, digital print and wall mounted vinyl. Image courtesy of Cheska Brown.

 

Hana Buchanan

Te Aro
Te Whanganui-a-Tara
Haratua | May 2022

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Hana Buchanan (Ngati Haumia, Taranaki, Te Atiawa) has long been interested in words, sounds and language and has a background in linguistics and education. As she has committed to the endless journey of reclaiming tōna reo rangatira me ōna tikanga new avenues of expression have opened up. Hana responds and collaborates through writing toikupu and poetry, contributing pao and composing waiata.