Biennale of Sydney

Reading Oceania

Seini . Photograph: Joshua Morris

Reading Oceania is a TAPU space (sacred, secret, forbidden).
Reading Oceania exists as a praxis of Oceanic cosmology.
Reading Oceania, like language, is a practice and a people.
Reading Oceania’s practice rose as a more pronounced navigational tool was required for our creative community.
Reading Oceania is a navigational social technology – a ritualistic organisation of the ordinary in order to inspire, enhance and unleash the extra-ordinary.

In abstract, Reading Oceania is a contemporary, ritualistic practice for nourishment. We ingest knowledge existing as text or in form, in doing so, bearing witness with our voices to our own becoming. With the knowledge that we mark time in the here and now, Reading Oceania confronts our collective Indigenous vanishing.

Reading Oceania is a think tank collective of artists who take refuge in the practice of developing OceaniaX Oratory: the explorative art of Oceanic talk, enacting design and non-design towards collective self-determination beyond survival, in the face of climate change and globalised cultures.

Spearheaded by Seini ‘SistaNative’ Taumoepeau, Reading Oceania follows a ‘come as you are’ methodology, a philosophical influence from both hip hop culture and Polynesia.

Reading Oceania exists as the horizon between the private and the public. Reading Oceania sways between the loungeroom, the footpath and the stage.

Initially, Reading Oceania began as a direct response to the diasporic needs of Indigenous Oceanic Australian artists, creatives and community to share Oceanic cosmology intimately and in meaningful ways. We seek to empower knowledge with enacted wisdom, as a performative re-enactment of our ancestry in contemporary times.

Reading Oceania exists in Marrickville. As the tides of gentrification continue to inhibit our communal cultural gatherings in local public spaces, as these vanish, our private properties become protective spaces for unimpeded gatherings.

The Reading Oceania NIRIN residency at Marrickville Library and Pavilion, pushes the Reading Oceania private practice further over the edge of the local, the private, and into the non-local, public sphere.

For NIRIN, Reading Oceania’s event ‘Revising the Ritual of Oceanic Oratory’ is a performative feast of talk which explores collective navigational processes, and ethics deeply anchored in Oceanic Indigenous experience, through presence, thought and talk.

Seini Taumoepeau

Born 1975 in Sydney, Australia 
Lives in Sydney, Australia, and works as FIFO (Fly In, Fly Out)
Indigenous to Kingdom of Tonga, South Pacific 

Talei Luscia Mangioni

Born in Sydney, Australia
Lives in Canberra, Australia
Fijian and Italian

Athena Thebus

Born 1990 in Brisbane, Australia
Lives and works in Sydney, Australia
Filipino

Georgia Taia

Born 1993 in Lismore, Australia
Lives and works in Sydney Australia
Cook Islander, Samoan and European

Tracy Quan

Born 1993 in Honiara, Solomon Islands
Lives and works in Sydney Australia
Solomon Islander and Chinese

Angela Tiatia

Born 1973 in Auckland, New Zealand
Lives and works in Sydney, Australia
Samoan

Paris Taia

Born 1993 in Lismore, Australia
Lives and works in Sydney Australia
Cook Islander, Samoan and European

Latai Taumoepeau

Born in 1972 and continues to live on Gadigal Ngurra (Sydney)
Taumoepeau makes and presents work in the world and will return to her ancestral island nation of Tonga to learn and continue the faivā (performing art), sea voyaging and celestial navigation before she becomes an ancestor.

Brian Fuata

Born 1978 in Wellington, Aoetearoa / New Zealand 
Lives and works in Sydney

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