Talia Smith is an artist and curator from Aotearoa New Zealand and now based in Sydney, Australia. She is of Cook Island, Samoan and Pākehā heritage. Her photographic, moving image and curatorial practices explore themes of time, memory, ruin and familial histories with a particular focus on the reclamation of the colonial tool of the camera. She has exhibited widely in Aotearoa and Australia as well as at artist run spaces in Germany and New York. In 2022 she had her first institutional solo show at MAMA Albury NSW titled ‘Don’t be bashful, wear the flower behind your ear’. In 2021 she completed her Masters of Fine Arts (research) at UNSW in Sydney.
On her work, Talia writes:
“When my grandfather passed away my mother and her siblings stood at the gravesite and sang the song Blue Moon. Their parents would sing this song when they were children and although not able to fully get through it, I will always remember the lines Blue moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart. This new video work features found family footage of my grandfather, when my parents visited family in Samoa and when my family went to Rarotonga for the first time to see family the year I turned sixteen. The footage is shaky, the hand of the person (most likely my father) holding the camera is unstable as the camera takes the viewer through the family home in Rarotonga. My grandfather laughs and dances silently to a slowed down backing track as do the dancers I saw at the hotel in Raro. The video is layered and almost folds back upon itself revealing and concealing faces and people that are no longer alive and moments that have long passed. There may be markers of time in the videos but blue moon as a work attempts to flatten time, to show the slipperiness of the medium of the camera and honour family, history and that perhaps the moon saw it all along and we are not alone.”
Te Tauranga / The Landing / Le Taulaga is a rotating digital gallery for moving-image artworks.