Hervé and Maillet’s Te Whare Hēra residency resulted in a one-off performance work called Initialise the Model (2016) which was inspired by Te Atiawa and pakeha’ settler histories, science, archaeology and the weather of Matiu/Somes Island. The island sits in the middle of the Te Whanganui a Tara/Wellington harbour and is owned by Te Atiawa, and is a predator free scientific reserve. The artists audience travelled by ferry to the island’s historic Caretakers Cottage for the performance.
In Mount Richmond Forest parks, there is an experiment where Andrea Goodman of Kea Conservation Trust is building playground equipment specifically designed for kea. It looks a bit like a children playground but it has been designed to imitate human objects that kea are specifically interested in. The hypothesis is that giving kea specific playgrounds will help resolve conflicts with humans.
I have a personal anecdote about that, a dialogue that I had with a kea. It was living in captivity in Wellington and I was not. But we kind of had an exchange. I wanted to take its picture. It came to see my camera and wanted to use it with its beak through the fence. Then it showed me something. It chopped a twig with his sharp beak and sculpted it in Y shape. Then it picked a leaf, shaved another chip of wood with his beak, and fixed them on the Y shaped twig. It made quite a nice sculpture. And the kea showed the sculpture to me. It held it firm in his beak and turned around tho show it on every side. When I left it stil held the sculpture in its beak.
You have an hour more on Matiu/Somes Island. If you like, you can think of this whakatauākī .
“Ka ngaro reoreo tangata, kīkī e manu”.
(no human voice, only the voice of birds)
Thank you very much.
Performance, Massey University, Matiu/Somes Island, 2016
La résidence de Louise Hervé et Chloé Maillet dans le cadre du programme Te Whare Hēra s’est conclue par une performance intitulée Initialise the Model (2016) inspirée par les histoires de Te Atiawa et les habitants pakeha’, l’éthologie, l’archéologie et la météo de Matiu/Somes Island. L’île se situe au milieu de la baie de Te Whanganui a Tara/Wellington et appartient à Te Atiawa. Elle est une réserve scientifique où tous les prédateurs ont été éliminés. Le public a voyagé en ferry jusqu’à l’île et au pavillon historique des gardiens de l’île pour la performance.