Richard Orjis has a new video work in the exhibition "The Sentiment of Flowers" at the Gus Fisher Gallery 10 Februrary - 5 May 2023.
‘What queer can offer is the identity of I am also. I am also human. I am also natural. I am also alive and dynamic and full of contradiction, paradox, irony. Queer knocks down the house of cards and throws them into the warm wind.’
The sentiment of flowers brings together artworks by leading Aotearoa and international artists that broadly resonate with the theme of queer ecologies. The exhibition embraces a non-binary approach to thinking about nature by encouraging us to abandon ideas of human exceptionalism in order to understand how queerness is an integral part of life for all living organisms.
In ecology, queerness enables infinite possibilities and is broader than sexuality or gender identity. Deconstructing and moving beyond reductive dualisms that serve to give the word ‘natural’ its agency, artworks in the exhibition employ a range of destabilising strategies central to queer theory. The exhibition looks at artistic propositions for a queer ecological future and addresses a range of concepts including biohacking, eco-sexuality, the decolonisation of nature and posthuman ecologies.
The sentiment of flowers features newly produced work by a r a p e t a and Laura Duffy, and presents Alicia Frankovich’s Atlas of Anti-Taxonomies (2019-22) for the first time in Tāmaki Makaurau.
An essay by Simon Gennard, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art and Collections at The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, accompanies the exhibition. Atlas of Anti-Taxonomies was originally commissioned by Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū.