• New Zealand

Lisa Reihana

The must-see exhibition from the 2017 Venice Biennale.


‘This ambitious, riveting animated sequence deserves to be recognised as one of the key artworks of recent years.’

- The Times (UK)

Presented in association with the John Curtin Gallery

Imperialism’s gaze is returned with a speculative twist that disrupts notions of beauty, authenticity, history and myth in Emissaries.

Lisa Reihana’s vast panoramic video in Pursuit of Venus [infected] is a cinematic re-imagining of the Neoclassical French scenic wallpaper Les Sauvages De La Mer Pacifique, created in 1805 and well known as ‘Captain Cook’s voyages’. Critically acclaimed as one of the most memorable projects from the 2017 Venice Biennale, Reihana’s monumental video unravels Enlightenment ideals, cartographic and scientific endeavour, and the raw, ever-present impulses of expansionism, power and desire.

Image 1: Lisa Reihana, in Pursuit of Venus [infected] (detail), 2015–17, ultra UHD video, colour, sound, 64mins. Courtesy the artist and New Zealand at Venice.


Artist Talks:

Sunday 4 February 2 – 3pm
Lisa Reihana
Join Lisa Reihana in the Gallery as she talks about the genesis of in Pursuit of Venus [infected].


Wednesday 7 February 12.30 – 1.30pm
Lisa Reihana & James Pinker
Lisa Reihana and her collaborating partner James Pinker, discuss how in Pursuit of Venus [infected] was originally created in 2015 and subsequently modified and expanded in 2016/17 for the Venice Biennale exhibition Lisa Reihana: Emissaries.


Free Parking on weekends. Refreshments served.


12.30 – 1.30pm at the John Curtin Gallery

14 March   Professor Jane Lydon, Wesfarmers Chair in Australian History, UWA
                     What if? Re-imagining Pacific Encounters 

28 March   Professor Deborah Gare, School of Arts and Sciences, Notre Dame University
                     Imperial Ambition

11 April      Professor Steven Tingay, Exec. Director, Curtin Institute for Radio Astronomy
                     In Pursuit of Venus: Polynesian and Western Science

18 April      Professor Kingsley Dixon, John Curtin Distinguished Professor
                     Beyond Banks – botanising the Great South Land

The detail

John Curtin Gallery


3 Feb - 29 Apr 2018



Visual Arts Program Partner