In 1996 a letter was received by detective Brent Garner, 'COP, you drew the straw. Chapter 1 starts. You will die, I guarantee. The Executioner.' These words began what would become one of Aotearoa’s most bizarre crime cases, fuelling existing ‘Satanic Panic’, a recurrent symptom of the dominant culture's floating anxiety. Donaldson and Lind’s Neighbourhood of Truth examines the surveillance, fear and othering mirrored in this 'once-in-a-century-crime'. The film then probes further to unveil sensitivities and fractures within the New Zealand settler colonial psyche and it’s ideologies and what they might mean for the self-determination of working class New Zealanders.
Alongside the film we have ‘Me and You Copy Paste’, a performance and screening by Cushla Donaldson, NYX Drone Choir, Meg Sydenham and Matthew Sunderland.
Performances start at 7.00pm on the 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, 27, 29, 30 July, and 6 August.
Featuring: Matthew Sunderland, Brenda Slater, Anonymous, Frankie Vegas, Michael Bache
Sound Mix: Colleen Brennen
Special thanks to: Artspace Aotearoa & Remco de Blaaij, Ashurst Library, Barry Searle, David Hall, Daniel John Corbett Sanders, Hiraani Himona, James Eastwood, Jason Ellis, John Laing, Jon Bywater, Jeffery Wong, Madison Lind, May Wilson, Ngaa Taonga Sound & Vision, Te Arahu Gilsenan, Te Manawa, Wellington Independent Arts Trust and Whanganui Museum.
About the artists
Cushla Donaldson grew up in the Manawatū region of Te Ika-a-Maui. Guided by her observations growing up in a provincial settler colonial context, her practice gives form to the restive and political relationship between weakening and outdated ideologies and the growing cogency and power of unacknowledged realities. The filmic documents of personal and socio-political events reflects Donaldsons practice which transverses sociology, critical theory and artistic expression.
Donaldson presented the acclaimed participatory work 501s with the Physics Room at the Melbourne Art Fair in 2018 and developed a parallel collection of commissioned essays and artworks Through That Which Separates Us, published in 2021. She received her MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London, as a recipient of the Anne Reid Scholarship. She is currently a postgraduate researcher focusing the crimes of Capital, including the circulation of hate speech, border theatre and the intersecting digital worlds of both dominant and marginalised communities.
Artist Quentin Lind was born in Manukau, raised in the Manawatū, but was transient throughout Aotearoa New Zealand during their formative years. Influenced by their early transience, Lind's work is motivated by the visual and cultural languages specific to their geographic identity. Their work has explored working class ritualism, ranging from private to energetic collective actions, which exist as forms of personal and cultural self-fashioning.
Currently, Lind's practice is propelled by their interest in horror cinema and the extended field of documentary. They view genre cinema as a site for exploring the political imagination and an entry point to explore and re-evaluate historical memories. Lind attended Quay School of the Arts in Whanganui during the process of its closure, then completed their studies at Elam School of Fine Arts in 2016, graduating with an MFA.