Gus Fisher Gallery, The University of Auckland
6 August 2022 - 22 October 2022
Creation Stories is the first collaborative project by Berlin-based Simon Denny and Auckland-based Karamia Müller to be staged in Tāmaki Makaurau and will take place across Gus Fisher Gallery and Michael Lett. The exhibition includes major new commissioned artworks by Denny and Müller and brings work by a diverse group of international artists to Aotearoa for the first time.
The new co-authored artworks by Denny and Müller visualise creation stories; how commerce, sovereignty, technology and polity connect the Pacific to German-speaking Europe. The artworks bring together the artists’ family trees together with Samoa’s political history, colonial products made from indigenous plants, both artist’s familial involvement in the creation of currency, the recent emergence of cryptocurrencies and the infrastructure of Pacific telecommunications. Denny and Müller’s artworks adapt structures of electrical wiring harnesses used to power vehicles to form sculptures.
Creation Stories foregrounds different versions of known and lesser known narratives in the Pacific with a focus on dialogues between Europe, the USA, Samoa and Aotearoa. By spanning several centuries, cultures and genealogies, the exhibition draws on the artists’ own ancestries and their connections to these regions—in the 1920s Denny’s great-grandfather was Chief Justice in Samoa while Müller’s great-grandfather was involved in significant commercial activity with Swiss and German colonial enterprises in Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga after leaving Switzerland.
With the aid of multidisciplinary research, artistic collaboration and artworks by leading Aotearoa and international artists, Creation Stories interprets narratives of beginnings and interconnections with the exhibition itself becoming a social graph of shared spaces, representation and entanglement. Denny and Müller invite visitors to consider their place within these shared spaces, of intertwining histories with people and cultures and the role we all play as part of a network of connections that stem from our place in Aotearoa and the Pacific.
Chartwell is pleased to support this show alongside The University of Auckland, the Goethe Institut, Todd Trust and Art + Object. 'Tuesday, 3 July 2001, 10.38am' by Stella Brennan is also on loan to the exhibition. Read more about the work here.