First, they chose a name, 2016
Ana Iti (Ngāpuhi) graduated from Ilam School of Fine Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2012. Employing sculpture, spoken text, drawing and archival materials, Ana’s recent work focuses on the colonial architecture of cities and the difficulties of trying to navigate a Māori identity through colonial and Western knowledge systems.
First, they chose a name explores the use of Karaitiana as a forgotten or defunct name for Ōtautahi Christchurch. After encountering this name on Wikipedia -- described as meaning ‘Christchurch’ or ‘Christianity’ -- and struggling to trace its origins, the artist has used this as a starting point to consider the slippery, political nature of naming and its relationship to collective and personal identity.
The work includes an audio recording of the artist reading out loud and a piece of recycled Halswell Quarry stone. The stone from this quarry was used in the construction of many significant early buildings in Ōtautahi. Playing between the lightness of breath and the heaviness of stone, First, they chose a name highlights a series of displacements between written and spoken language, and between name and identity.
Image: Ana Iti, First, they chose a name, 2016
Recycled Halswell quarry stone with engraving, audio. Courtesy of the artist
Photo Credit: Daniela Aebli