Ariki Vaine (Chiefess Woman) is a two-part video series reflecting the story and importance of Mother Earth through Cook Island dance, while exploring the importance of cultural lineage and connection to her ancestors.
“Women in my family have been vital role models in my upbringing, and Ariki Vaine displays a graciousness toward the leaders of our culture.
The work engages with the disconnection of being biracial, and the importance of connecting with our heritage to understand ourselves.”
Layered with archival footage and visuals of nature from the Islands, the work highlights the importance of the figural and literal meaning of ‘mother’ within the Polynesian culture. The two videos, Māmā and Maine, create a conversational barrier through language and movement, between the past and the future, utilising performance as a universal language of storytelling. Ariki Vaine highlights the importance of maintaining Indigenous cultures that are being lost through a colonised world.
Morgan Hogg is a Cook Island-Australian emerging artist living and working on unceded Dharug and Gadigal land. Through the perspective of her Kūki Airani heritage, Hogg utilises installation and performance as visual representations of her own exploration of cultural displacement and identity. Making space within her practice to rely on oral exchange between her mother and family, Hogg continues the story of her ancestry through maintaining traditional practices within her works. In engaging with performance and installation, she creates spaces of belonging within her institutionalised upbringing in Australia.
Special thanks to Ariki Entertainment, Mama Fly, Archive New Zealand, Nikki Upoko, Mata Hogg, Harry Klein, Tav Pacific, Rachel Feng, Isabelle Virrey, PIMDAN. My ancestors, who we continue the story for. This work was commissioned by Firstdraft as part of The Only Thing Left is to Leave, supported by the Keir Foundation, co-developed by Firstdraft and Beirut Art Centre.