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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Heartfelt Art in The Big Apple



Launching my book Assume Nothing in New York was so heart warming and an experience I'll never forget. There were new connections made and old connections reinvigorated. I basked in a climate of love, generosity, wisdom, creativity and a sense of united purpose. There was a very strong presence of all the people in Assume Nothing being alongside me in image, voice and spirit. It was wonderful to have Jack Byrne and MilDred Gerestant literally alongside me. They both did brilliant spoken word performances at the launch at The Tank Theater, just off Times Square. Jack opened the show with a mihi, and we screened four of Kirsty MacDonald's short films from Assume Nothing featuring Shigeyuki Kihara, Mani Bruce Mitchell, Ema Lyon and MilDred Gerestant.

As with the Assume Nothing exhibition we created a cocoon around the event, visually, aurally and energically. We had music from Aotearoa with Claire Cowan and James Webster's original music in the Assume Nothing film, Moana Maniapoto's songs from her album Wha and Kirsty MacDonald's beautiful rendition of Hunters and Collectors Throw your arms around me which was playing as I did the book signing.

Our panel discussion at Bluestockings bookstore with myself, Jack Byrne, Ignacio Rivera and Justus Eisfeld, was on the theme of "Art, Activism and Gender Identity". Interestingly it organically morphed into art, activism and healing- exploring how techniques that are healing through art could be applied to keep activism healthy and sustainable.

By chance there was a great panel discussion, the night before, by three intersex activists for intersex awareness day. One of the panelists, I'd met 10 years ago, through Mani Bruce Mitchell who is in Assume Nothing and it was interesting to hear about her recent involvement in talks with the International Olympics Committee around their intersex policy following Caster Semenya's case.

Back in Aotearoa, I'm working on SWEAT, my solo exhibition on during the OUTGAMES in Wellington, at Mark Hutchins Gallery opening 9th March 2011. We are having a "Kissing booth" event on March 16th where I'll photograph couples on the night and screen the images in the gallery.

UPCOMING FILM SCREENINGS
DELHI INDIA
NIGAH QUEERFEST 2010
Assume Nothing film screening Dec 5th 1.15pm
http://www.thequeerfest.com/films/assume-nothing/

BELGRADE SERBIA
MERLINKA - INTERNATIONAL QUEER FILM FESTIVAL
DocuMerlinka
Assume Nothing film screening 29th-30th January 2011

HASTINGS ENGLAND
Assume Nothing screening Feb 2011
Electric Palace

KINGSTON CANADA
REELOUT FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL
Saturday February 5 2011

NAVARRA SPAIN
PUNTO DE VISTA INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL OF NAVARRA
Screening of BLACK AND WHITE 22-27 February 2011

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