Embodied Knowledge/Can Tame Anything; book launch

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Join Priscilla Pitts, Kirsty Baker, Rachel O’Neill and Melanie Oliver as they read excerpts from freshly published book Embodied Knowledge/Can Tame Anything.

Curated and edited by The Dowse Senior Curator Melanie Oliver, Embodied Knowledge/Can Tame Anything is a reader that gathers together writing from the mid-1980s through to today. In republishing some hard to find essays and commissioning new texts, it aims to enable readers, artists, viewers and writers to understand the histories that came before them, and plot their own courses into the future.

Embodied Knowledge/Can Tame Anything documents the exhibitions Embodied Knowledge and Can Tame Anything that were presented concurrently at The Dowse during 2018 as a way to readdress and make visible histories of feminism, critical theory, and installation art practice in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Embodied Knowledge presented significant sculptural works made by women artists during a tumultuous period of New Zealand’s art history. This included a selection of works from the 1980s that were made using ephemeral materials, site specific and performative or process-based practices. Looking back to the 1980s as a foundational moment for contemporary art, Embodied Knowledge considered the ongoing influence of embodied knowledge as a conceptual approach for artists.

Extending these themes, Can Tame Anything featured the work of contemporary artists Ruth Buchanan, Alicia Frankovich, Mata Aho Collective, and Sriwhana Spong. Their works expressed knowledge that is tacit, situated and experiential, and stressed the influence of 1980s practices on contemporary art and the ongoing relevance of embodied knowledge for our understanding of the world.

Embodied Knowledge/Can Tame Anything includes writing from Ngahuia Te Awekotuku (Te Arawa, Tūhoe, Waikato), Kirsty Baker, Lita Barrie, Abby Cunnane, Julie Ewington, Melanie Oliver, Priscilla Pitts, Hanahiva Rose, Ella Sutherland and Matariki Williams (Tūhoe, Te Atiawa, Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Hauiti).