My throat/a shelter is an exhibition of two new experimental films by Selina Ershadi and James Tapsell-Kururangi. The exhibition is situated in embodied and intangible systems of knowledge, with the artists drawing on family narratives documented in home videos, oral histories, portents and screen histories. These and other sources in the works compose a meditation on time and memory, as non-linear and haptic.
Guided by omens, voices and visions, Ershadi’s two-channel film brings together fragments from the artist’s family archive with footage captured while learning to see through the dim viewfinder of a 16mm Bolex camera. Filmed in part while accompanying her mother at an eye clinic in Tāmaki, Ershadi’s work explores various modes of seeing, documenting and recollecting as the eye loses dominion. The sonic register is composed by sound artist Frances Libeau. It comprises aural textures from personal archives, and field recordings subjected to gentle electroacoustic interventions. Following the form of an ouroboros, the work moves in two directions at once, unsettling linear perception.
Retracing the footsteps of his tūpuna across multiple continents and generations, Tapsell-Kururangi’s film is a meditation on temporality and mortality. Using the story of Maui and Hine-nui-te-pō as a scaffold, the work traces an itinerant path through Hong Kong, Copenhagen, and finally to the artist’s father’s home in Paengaroa. The film entangles lyrical imagery and verse, envisioned as a conversation between the artist and his father, at once longing and withholding. The subject hovers on the periphery of the senses, never coming fully into view or resolution, bringing into proximity absence and the potential for failure.
My throat/a shelter speculates on marginal and inhabited understandings of time and memory. The films echo what Laura U. Marks describes as a condition of intercultural cinema, where rupture experienced through exile or displacement gives rise to diffuse notions of truth. These works grapple with the potential for audiovisual media to express complex and multi-layered experience, finding resonances in the liveliness and mutability of material traces and inherited stories.