18 Oct: Regan Ha-Ha Tamanui "Personal Heroes" (NZ)
Entry at Upper Khartoum Place, Kitchener Street
Deliveries to 1st Floor 32 Lorne Street
Auckland, New Zealand
Tel. 649 379 0588
Open Tue - Fri 10 - 5 l Sat 11 - 3
In his most recent solo exhibition, Tamanui presents Personal Heroes, a retrospective portrait series of New Zealand's beloved All Blacks players to coincide with the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Invoking 19th Century colonial portraits of the 'noble savage', Tamanui's players of Maori, Pacific Islander and Pakeha descent are at once signifier of historical colonialist hegemony, and critique of contemporary corporate globalisation.
Personal Heroes reminisces on rugby union's recent history, before the professional era ushered in. In this series, Tamanui explores themes of 'the working class man' and the 'team vs individual'. These themes serve as an allegory for contemporary culture and the 21st Century decline of community.
The formation of corporate group SANZR in 1995, with the specific purpose of selling TV rights to the Super 12 and Tri-Nations competitions, heralded the beginning of the end of the sporting hero. In this case, the revolution is televised, and everything is for sale.
Where once team players worked to support their collective sporting endeavour, corporate money now supports the creation of individualism and celebrity - the celebrity individual is crafted as reductive advertising icon for the products of multinational business.
Personal Heroes is Tamanui's assertation and lament for the human body as final corporate frontier.