An immersive publication that celebrates the artist’s work and deep connection to Bougainville
Artist Taloi Havini’s first publication Reclamation is an account of her ongoing investigation into history, the environment and nation-building within the social structures of her birthplace, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. The publication expands on the themes examined in Reclamation, a solo exhibition commissioned by Artspace, Sydney. It draws attention to Australia’s colonial relationship to Bougainville, describing the conflicts and injustices and the struggle for self-determination. Simultaneously it reclaims aspects of Bougainville’s culture, identity, and inter-generational connections to land and people. Working across mediums, Havini examines the environmental destruction caused by extensive copper mining in the region.
Co-published by Artspace and Formist Editions, and presented in a metallic copper slip case, the publication is an immersive experience constructed to utilise unique four-page spreads that allow it to be read in multiple ways.
Reclamation features essays by QAGOMA’s Curator of Pacific Art, Ruth McDougall, and Oceania academic and writer Nicholas Thomas, alongside specially commissioned hymns by Orator, and Songwoman Sēini ‘SistaNative’ Taumoepeau, excerpts from an unpublished autobiography by Havini’s late father, Moses Havini, as well as Taloi Havini in conversation with transdisciplinary scholar and writer, Nabil Ahmed and highly respected Nakaripa elder and curator Sana Balai. These texts accompany combinations of research, historical images, working images from Havini’s rich practice and a rigorous survey of Havini’s practice to date.
Reclamation, in Havini’s words, is “an honouring of my ancestral homeland and my people”. Through a continuous unfolding, Havini expands understandings of Bougainville, adding new narratives that are informed by indigenous knowledge and shared experiences. Her work is a reclamation of land and country, rewriting histories and narratives so that the people of Bougainville become the agents of their own representations.
Taloi Havini was born in Arawa, Autonomous Region of Bougainville and lives and works in Meeanjin/Brisbane. She employs photography, sculpture, immersive video and mixed-media installations to explore contested sites and histories in the Oceania region. She has exhibited internationally, including at the Royal Academy of Arts, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Ocean Space, Venice; and Sharjah Biennial 13, United Arab Emirates.
Co-published by Formist Editions and Artspace, Sydney
Paperback + slipcase
240 × 300 mm
Editor: Alexie Glass-Kantor and Michelle Newton