innocent bystanders:
Tusiata Avia

innocent bystanders may 02 - 19

Innocent Bystanders proposed a series of experimental encounters across Ōtautahi with The Physics Room as a central axis.

Blurring the boundaries between contemporary art and dance, performers Julia Harvie, Josie Archer, Kosta Bogoievski, David Huggins & curator Khye Hitchcock set up a framework from which examined dynamics between audience, performer, and site.

Local artists were invited to create written responses to the work.

Pier

(Innocent Bystanders)

The black body lies quite still on the concrete floor of the promenade colonial pier

The black body looks down through the concrete floor and the steel and the concrete pillars of the promenade colonial pier

The black body looks down through the concrete floor and the steel and the concrete pillars and the pre-stressed piles that Fletchers are fixing again (and will last for another 25 years) of the promenade colonial pier

The black body looks down through the concrete floor and the steel and the concrete pillars and the pre-stressed piles and down at the surface of the whenua and down through the whenua

down and down and down and down

The black body stands on the colonial promenade pier in a Captain Cook pose and surveys all that is arrogant

And the flag flutters rat a tat tat

The Anzac poppy body stands on the colonial promenade pier

rat a tat a tat a tat

And waltzes an old time in quick time straight line shiny and uptight upright

The black body squeezes between the bars of the colonial prominade pier one emaciated limb at a time

The black body escapes to Lyttleton and is locked up with prisoners of the Mau and dies with them

The black body escapes to Quail Island and is locked up with the young Samoan leper and is left there till they die. They are allowed to write letters to better themselves in the mean time

The black body stands on the colonial promenade pier hunched over and takes one imperceptible step at a time. No one knows where the old black body goes

The Kiwis on the colonial promenade pier talk about senior cruises: Tahiti first or Hawaí’i? Which way is the best way to do the Pacific?

The black body flaps their arms on the colonial promenade pier, flaps and flaps and flaps. There is no rise off the colonial promenade pier. Arms flap flap flap. People walk around the black body. People avoid the black body

The black body crouches, rocks back and forth, rocks back and forth, rocks back and forth

There were whales that passed in this water but they are all in storage in Japan now, the seniors talk about going to Japan to eat whale: Well, they’re running out of storage space aren’t they?

The black body climbs up onto the railing of the colonial promenade pier and holds onto the lamp standard

And finally, the black body stretches out over the colonial promenade pier, over the people, the seniors, the innocent bystanders, over the cenotaph, the arrogant flag, over the whenua, New Brighton, Hawai’i, Japan, over Te moana nui a Kiwa

and finally, finally the black body          

lets                                                            go

Innocent Bystanders
The Physics Room 02 - 19 May, 2018 
Josie Archer, Julia Harvie, Kosta Bogoievski, David Huggins
Curated by Khye Hitchcock

Poem by Tusiata Avia
Images by Stuart Lloyd-Harris

http://www.physicsroom.org.nz/exhibitions/innocent-bystanders