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A brief overview of landscape in New Zealand experimental film 1970 to 2015. Includes reference to recent Maori moving image making and possible future conceptions of landscape. Abridged and updated version of an article originally published in
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    Ko Te Whenua: The Land By Martn Rumsby While landscape has played an imporan par in he hisory of New Zealand paintn and sculpure! i has no feaured so prominenly in local "lms# $erainly! he land has pro%ided a scenic bac&drop for he feaure "lm! ad%ertsin and ouris indusries# Beyond ha! wih he e'cepton of our mo%in imae artss i has no been brouh o he forefron by our indusrial "lmma&ers#Wha bean wih (uropean e'plorer culure as a process of documenaton and classi"caton laer became a oporaphical mappin for he purpose of se)lemen! resource e'racton! and ariculural producton# This was done in a precise! empirical manner# Laer! he New Zealand landscape became he se*n for impored ar models! a once a +uasi,-mpressionis! hen neo,$ubis! ('pressionis! Romantc! ranscenden and oday! e al# .ome now e%en call i Middle (arh# /or is (uropean disco%ers and se)lers he 0aci"c was a %as and idle emptness o be claimed and pu o wor&# This %iew persised e%en as recenly as he lae wenteh cenury when he 1merican! Britsh! and /rench miliaries displaced nat%e populatons and desroyed 0aci"c eco,sysems in he course of estn nuclear weapons on islands and aolls hrouhou he 0aci"c#-n hin&in of landscape ar wo critcal arumens almos immediaely come o mind# The "rs would be ha an artstc ineres landscape is an idea ha has passed is tme! ha%in reached is hih poin in New Zealand in he 2345s wih maybe a brief reprise in he land ar of he 2365s# Landscape has since been eclipsed by concerns of identy politcs! partcularly 2    feminism! ender! and indieneiy alon wih heories deri%ed from $ontnenal 0hilosophy and pos,modernism# The second arumen! which follows on from he "rs! contnues he de%aluaton of an ineres in landscape# 1ccordin o his arumen any contnued address of landscape amouns o a rerorade reionalism practced! in he main! by whie heerose'ual males who "nd hemsel%es on he wron side of issues surroundin identy or hih heory# 7ere! he whie male "lm arts "nds himself denied access o any sub8ect%iy oher han his role as an arts# 7e sands! reardin he landscape self, consciously raher han as he locale of a freely associatn consciousness# 1lone in he landscape his becomes a re9e'i%e non,identy#1 counerin arumen! based on he imminen hrea o planeary eco,sysems posed by lobal warmin would call on humans o renew our a*udes! practces and relatonship wih he plane so as o eec he social! economic and personal ransformatons which may lead o balance! e+uiy and susainabiliy# 7eedin indienous and oher! older forms of &nowlede artss may help us o en%isae hese ransformatons#Recenly! 1ruadhat Roy saed ha!;-f here is any hope for he world < i lies low down on he round! wih is arms around he people who o o ba)le e%eryday o proec heir foress! heir mounains and heir ri%ers because hey &now ha he foress! he mounains and he ri%ers proec hem#= i 0olitcally! we apprehend New World landscapes o%errun by echnoloical sysems ha e'ploi hem# We reard cinema as a echnoloy ha achie%es and shapes our apprehension of he landscape# .uch premonitons can lead o a self,consciousness in reards o relatonships beween cinematc apparaus! he landscape! culure! and he self# Bu wha of he limis of echnoloy and percepton and how >hins? may come oeher wihin our sense of self,hood# ii @    - is an odd fac ha many prominen landscape artss! from Aohn $onsable onwards! are urbanies! producin forurban audiences who all oo oen labour under serious misapprehensions abou Naure# 1 iii s he (nlish wrier Aohn Bererells us!;Crban li%in has always ended o produce a sentmenal %iew of naure# Naure is houh of as a arden! or as a %iew framed by a window! or as an arena of freedom# 0easans! nomads and sailors ha%e &nown be)er# Naure is enery and srule# - is wha e'iss wihou any srule#= i% -n recen years Maori artss ha%e assered %iews of landscape ha incorporae indienous perspect%es# This mar&s he on,oin ransiton of he (uropean idea of New Zealand o one of 1oearoa as a place which embraces Maori culural and spiriual %alues as is foundaton#- is from his foundaton! Dame 1nne .almond ells us! ha New Zealanders ener ino a debae beween (uropean (nlihenmen hin&in and Maori %alues such as whakapapa and whenua rangitra  , he srucure of he uni%erse and newor&s by which all hins are lin&ed oeher# 1n accord wih Maori hin&in can be found in he (uropean concep of vialism which reconiEes he cosmos as a %as web of life in which people! plans! animals! insecs and oher phenomena are enaed in processes of reciprocal e'chane which chane o%er tme# -n New Zealand his ype of relatonal hin&in has been applied o he rihs of Maori and ordinary people! freedom! partcipaory democracy! and en%ironmenalism# % 1lways mindful of he Maori preceden! New Zealanders are cauh wihin concei%in of he land as real esae! product%e F    enty! or locus of indienous raditon# They contnually debae heir way hrouh issues of ownership! usae! and access o he land# /or hem he %iew of he landscape is no "'ed# -nsead! i can be approached from any number of %iewpoins# /or hem! hen! he landscape pro8ec remains ali%e and incomplee# 1nd i may fore%er remain an open +ueston# Bu we are e*n ahead of oursel%es# Before considerin possible fuures for landscape represenaton we need o re%iew he hisory of landscape "lm and mo%in imae in New Zealand#Generally! New Zealand landscape "lms ha%e been phooraphically based! personal documenaries! each ma&er wor&in in heir own distnct%e syle! larely unaware of wha he wor& of heir conemporaries! local or inernatonal forbears# To a deree heirs could be called self,in%ened landscapes! houh ones ha reference wesern %isual and media ars practce#AH1NN1 M1RG1R(T 01CL I23J4,@55F Through the shaped spaces of the bed’s frame; through the ower carved in the wood & through the window pane; through the pierced  verandah hood, the foliate rose I see the straight & curved branches parting of a tree. Without the lens heaven,/ the heavens less understood A# M# 0aul %i   -n he 2365s he poe and painer Aoanna Marare 0aul oo& up a mo%ie camera and embar&ed on a series of modes personal "lms made mosly on he home mo%ie forma of .uper mm# 7er means! e+uipmen and echni+ue were low bude and primit%e# 7er "lms seem e'ploraory! as if see&in he same ype of compositonal clariy ha she had been able o brin o her paintn and poery# 0aul ne%er J    souh o ttllae an audience bu insead aimed o spea& direcly o us from her inner self! hrouh cinema# Wha we see in he arranemen of her imaes are he wor&ins of her consciousness  how her mind pu hins oeher in free 9owin encouners of self and place#Beween 2365 and 23@ 0aul made almos J5 e'perimenal "lms# 7er sinle,person cinema %aried from personal documenary o lyrical landscape o riualiEed performance of domestciy# These "lms laid bare her close a)enton o he world! simply illusratn her lo%e of land! naure! friends and family! mediatn a space beween inerior and e'erior realites! beween life and deah! beween culure and naure# Mos of all 0aul li&e o wor& a home#;- ha%e ne%er needed a sudio o wor& in < - am ryin o capure and idea from life <# My wor& oriinaes in feelin < - li&e o a%oid in%estn hins wih a symbolic meanin < - wan my eye o be a fairly clear lens on he world# Thins always ha%e a lo o say o me! so - li&e o hin& hey ha%e somehin o say hrough me#= %ii 0aul?s landscape sudies were neiher simple recordin nor random assemblae# Wor&in from shootn scrips composed on shees of music paper she used her camera o e'plore landscape! hopin ha her camera and editn eye may re%eal hidden pa)erns! rhyhms and meanins in naure# .eein her artstc act%ites as bein intmaely relaed o e%eryday life 0aul oen porrayed he people and places ha mean mos o her#7er ma8or landscape "lm is probably Por Chalmers Cycle I2365# This shor .uper mm "lm is di%ided ino sectons! each separaed by whie leader# -n he "rs secton a hand,held camera whirls hrouh a landscape do)ed wih houses! soppin o pic& ou deails  a railway saton! a church! he rooops of colonial %illas! o%errown ardens and bloomin 9owers! washin dryin on a clohesline  all mar&ers of human act%iy and cult%aton an o%errown rustc suburbia#Hur %iew a he beinnin of 0ar Two is framed by windows! indicatn ha his is he arts?s sub8ect%e %iew and also formally referencin he phooraphic picure plane# The motf of dryin washin is repeaed! soliary "ures and a couple mo%es hrouh srees ha are 4

A Arte

Apr 11, 2018
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