After some months in development our newest project, Kauri-oke! has just hit Otara, S0uth Auckland, as part of the 5th Auckland Triennial curated by Hou Hanru. We set up shop in the local market just outside Fresh Gallery on Saturday, and will be back for a second round this coming Saturday 18 May. If you’re in Auckland, drop by!
Kauri-oke! is a portable solar-powered karaoke machine built in Sydney from repurposed NZ Kauri pine, long ago shipped over the seas for use in Australian domestic interiors. On selected Saturdays during the Triennial, Kauri-oke! will appear at the Otara Markets, offering punters the chance to sing along to an expanding collection of folk songs whose lyrics deal with home, or with landscapes loved and lost. During the week it lives quietly at Fresh Gallery (between some incredible work by Keg de Souza, Emory Douglas/Wayne Youle/Rigo 23, and Mounir Fatmi).
Underpinning the work is a concern for how nostalgia shapes our readings of the past and the places we once knew. At the same time it looks forward towards new forms of social imagining, dwelling and remembering. Incorporating handcrafted objects and songs suggested by people in Otara, Kauri-oke! acts as a kind of responsive micro-museum of displacement and cultural drift.