Christopher Ulutupu

The Fall

28 May 2022 - 2 October 2022

In recent years, the dystopian plotlines of page and screen have collided with some of the realities of a world navigating a pandemic, conflict and uncertainty. Christopher Ulutupu sees parallels between these ‘end of days’ narratives and the post-colonial discourse of dismantling capitalism, using his new work, The Fall, to simply ask ‘what happens when it all falls away?’. 

Made while on residency in Ōtepoti Dunedin, The Fall builds on Ulutupu’s practice of creating rich, performative works that hinge between the intimate and surreal. Set against landscapes and landmarks from across Ōtepoti and Te Waipounamu, he weaves his personal experiences, whānau, and popular culture together to speculate on what post-capitalism might look like. Composed as a series of interconnected chapters, The Fall continues Ulutupu’s interest in interrogating and disrupting historical representations of Pacific peoples and landscapes. An immersive and cinematic experience, this significant new work provides an opportunity to reflect on what might endure, collapse, or indeed triumph, in the wake of chaos, instability and change.

Christopher Ulutupu (Samoa/Niue/Germany) is the 2022 Dunedin Public Art Gallery Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa Visiting Artist. He has completed an MFA from Massey University, and a Bachelor of Performance Design (Hons) from Massey University and Toi Whakaari, New Zealand School of Drama. Working primarily in digital video, Ulutupu has regularly exhibited and screened works across Aotearoa including recent projects with Te Tuhi, Gus Fisher Gallery, The Dowse, The Physics Room and SCAPE Public Art. His work has been included in exhibitions in China, Germany and Australia, including the first Hobart Biennale in 2017.

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I kā tau tata ko tukia kā tāhū kōrero o te ao houmate nā te whāraki, nā te mata whakaata ki te ao tūturu nei e whakatere ana i te moana o urutā, o pakaka, o tūtakarerewa. Ka kitea e Christopher Ulutupu i kā tairiteka i waeka i kā kōrero mō te mateka o te ao me te kōrero o te wetewetekina mai o te akahaorawa i te hikaka o te tātāmitaka, mā te pātai māmā noa o tana mahi hou, Te Hikaka, ‘ka ahatia i tana hikaka mai?’

I waihakahia nōna e tū ki te karahipi noho ki Ōtepoti, he mea whakapakari anō a Te Hikaka i te mahi a Ulutupu ki te waihaka i kā whakaaturaka whai kiko e tārewa ana ki waeka i te tapui me te pōhewataka. E noho ana ki kā horanuku me kā tohu whenua puta noa i Ōtepoti, i Te Waipounamu hoki, ka whatuhia tahitia ōhona ake wheako, tōhona whānau me te ahurea o nāianei ki te matapae i te āhua o te ao mō muri atu i te hikaka o te akahaorawa. I titoa hai raupapa upoko-pukapuka ko tuia tahitia, ko Te Hikaka e whakakōkiri tou ana i te aka atu o Ulutupu ki te patapatai, ki te whakatōhenehene i kā whakaputaka whakaaro mō kā iwi Pāsifika me kā horanuku ko tuhia ki tō rātau tāhuhu kōrero. He wheako rumaki, he wheako whare kiriata, ka tukua e tēnei mahi whai tikaka he wā anō ki te huritao i kā toitūtaka, i ka mea ka hika, i te ekeka Takaroa rānei, i te au kōriporipo o te kaumikomiko, o te tutūka puehu, o te hurika o te ao.

Ko Christopher Ulutupu (Hamoa/Niue/Tiamani) te Rika-Toi Toro Mai, Toi Aotearoa ki te Whare Toi Tūmatawhānui o Ōtepoti 2022. I oti i a ia he Tohu Paerua Whakairo Ātaka i Te Kuneka ki Pūrehuroa, he Tohu Paetahi i te Hoahoa Whakaaturaka (whaimana) mai i Te Kuneka ki Pūrehuroa me Toi Whakaari. Mahi matua ana a Ulutupu ki te kiriata matihiko, rite tou tana whakaatu, tana whakaata i āna mahi puta noa i Aotearoa, tae atu ki āna hinoka nō nā tata nei ki Te Tuhi, Te Ahurewa Mātaki o Gus Fisher, The Dowse, Te Rūma Ahupūkao me SCAPE Toi Tūmatanui. Ko uru atu āhana mahi ki ētahi whakaaturaka ki Haina, ki Tiamani, ki Ahitereiria hoki, tae atu ai ki tana Biennale tuatahi ki Hobart i te tau 2017.


A Dunedin Public Art Gallery Visiting Artist Project supported by Creative New Zealand Toi Aotearoa, project partner, Dunedin School of Art

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