A multilingual Sāmoan Persian artist, curator, researcher, and arts manager based in Melbourneis the recipient of Tautai Contemporary Pacific Arts Trust’s 2015 Artist Residency.
Léuli Eshraghi’s practice focuses on connection to place, indigeneity, cultural memory and erasure,” says Tautai manager Christina Jeffery. “This work and Léuli’s skills in curation and arts management, make him an ideal recipient for 2015’s Tautai Artist In Residence,” she says. “The five week [31/1-7/3/15] residency will provide Léuli and the artists he meets with fertile opportunities to share and discuss ideas and experiences. Léuli is looking forward to spending time with the wide range of Pacific artists living in Auckland. We have no doubt he will find his stay stimulating and thought provoking.”
The Artist Residency is organised and sponsored by Tautai. The residency, offered to an artist outside New Zealand every two years, provides the artist with return airfares, accommodation and a stipend. The ‘gift of time’ gives the artist the opportunity to meet and interact with the local art community, as well as visit galleries, libraries and public institutions for research.
“I am excited by the opportunity to dedicate time, space and energy to reinforcing and making new relationships with people, works and spaces during the Tautai Trust Artist Residency,” “Léuli says. “It is my way of contributing to strengthened ties between our arts ecologies in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland and Narrm Melbourne. I will be undertaking artistic and curatorial research to better frame, make, write and curate in a manner which is inclusive of decolonial queer, feminist, va, tapu, noa, multilingual, Native Oceanian/Indigenous Pacific perspectives and practices.
Léuli Eshraghi will discuss Islander Arts Practice in Australia with interdisciplinary artist Yuki Kihara on February 3, 2015, at 5.30pm at Art Station. This precedes the launch of Léuli Eshraghi’s exhibition ‘O la ‘aitu laitiiti (We have always been here) – which runs at Art Station’s Cell Block, Studio One Toi Tu from February 4 to 11.
Léuli Eshraghi’s recent projects include investigations of sites of cultural memory and erasure in Oceania and Īrānzamīn, and examining notions of placemaking and the fluidity of spirituality and sexuality. His work details how customary mourning practices have been adapted to activate mana and multilingual plurality, to illuminate contemporary Oceanian and Middle Eastern aesthetics. Current projects include a visual commentary on displaced body sovereignty, indigeneity and masculinity – part of the Pacific Photobook Project, research into decolonising and indigenising curatorial practice, and developing MOTU, a new Islander Australian arts journal. Léuli Eshraghi holds specialist qualifications in Indigenous Arts Management (2012), French and Pacific Studies (2009), and French, Francophone, East Asian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (2008). He is acultural advocate alongside Sustainable Dreaming, a board member of the Wantok Musik Foundation and of the Contemporary Pacific Arts Festival‘s Symposium Advisory, and of the Australian Association for Pacific Studies.
LéuliEshraghi will be available for interview during his stay, from 31 January to 7 March.
www.spasifikmag.com April 2015