Our last Vā Kōrero for 2023 was a beautiful evening, with guest speaker Pelenakeke Brown and a special presentation by the Logo ī Pūlotu collective: Samara Alofa Autagavaia, Salvador Brown, David Feauai-Afaese, Sione Faletau, Abigail Aroha Jensen, Le Manaia Ponifasio, Navakatoa Tekela-Pule, Rāhana Winiata Tito-Taylor, Saia Tu'itahi & Leafa Wilson.
Pelenakeke Brown is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice explores the intersections between disability theory and Sāmoan concepts. Her practice spans visual art, text, and performance. She is from Aotearoa (New Zealand) and is a Sāmoan/Pakehā, crip artist. She has worked internationally presenting performances, exhibitions, published writing and residencies in New York, California, Berlin, Hamburg, London and Aotearoa.
She has worked with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gibney Dance Center, The New York Library for the Performing Arts and other institutions globally. Selected residencies include Eyebeam, The Laundromat Project, and Denniston Hill. Her work has been written about in Art in America, The New York Times and Art Agenda. In 2020 she was recognised with a Creative New Zealand Pacific Toa award.
She is informed by the Samoan concept of the vā – relationships across time and space, crip time, and is continually trying to find sites to investigate that hold both of these dual theories. Pelenakeke’s work straddles many mediums, is it a poem, a visual work or a choreographic score – she asks, why not all three?
Faʻafetai tele lava, Pelenakeke and the Logo ī Pūlotu collective, for bring this year’s Vā Kōrero series to a spectacular close. Thank you also to Ngutu Kākā for hosting us, and everyone who has supported the series throughout 2023.
Vā Kōrero operates as a monthly platform to support the research and practice of cluster members and our extended network. Affiliates, candidates, and wider whānau are invited to share in ceremony, food, and presentations of research; to engage with and seek support/mentorship from knowledge holders, senior academics, and artists alike.