To Breathe, To Sit, To Listen, To Talk is an exhibition by Tāmaki-Makaurau-based artist Hamish Carter that engages the non-human entities in the nearby Albert Park, seeking to collaborate with the park's long-term occupants to tell a place-specific story of its complex history in exploration of a relational artmaking practice.
The exhibition takes as its point of departure the deep geological, ecological, and human past of Albert Park, from its history as an early 18th-century Pā occupied by Te-Wai-o-Hua and Ngāti Whātua to the site of army barracks established for Sir George Grey’s 65th Regiment prior the invasion of the Waikato in 1863. Albert Park as we experience it today also has its origins in the British Empire’s obsession with collecting and planting “exotic” species from across the colonies, resulting in a diaspora of plants growing across the park.
Acknowledging the non-human occupants of Albert Park as witnesses to the Park as a changing site of post-colonial identity, To Breathe, To Sit, To Listen, To Talk considers human implication in this diasporic narrative, exhibiting intermediary objects developed as mobile tools to encourage a human to non-human collaboration.
Presented here in context with their resulting drawings, frottage, and prints on paper, these tools utilise a rope and peg method adopted from camping tent construction. Framed and shot in a style drawing on instructional YouTube videos, a video component also demonstrates the way these tools and techniques are used by the artist to generate collaborative mark-making with the surrounding Albert Park occupants.
The artist and exhibition would like to acknowledge past, current, and future human occupants of Albert Park including the Te-Wai-o-Hua people of Te Rangipuke settlement and Te Horotiu Pā, as well as today’s Ngāti Whātua tribes as Tangata Whenua