Janet Lilo: Hit Me With Your Best Shot (The Remix)

7 September – 10 November 2013
City Gallery Wellington


Janet Lilo: Hit Me With Your Best Shot (the remix) is a new mixed media installation developed during a recent period in Christchurch when the artist opened her practice to the chance encounters, random experiences and found objects offered by the city. Each of the installations’ three components chart Janet Lilo’s movements through and interactions within the urban environment, foregrounding the act of walking as a productive mode of artistic engagement and enquiry.

The photomontage, made from 1200 6’’ x 4’’ prints, combines portraits of people Lilo encountered on the streets of Christchurch with imagery lifted from objects found there–notably a cache of cassette tapes discovered within a box of personal items abandoned in an inner city carpark. The moving image work captures an impromptu act of slacklining, a performance that for Lilo came to symbolise the new relationships brokered between the residents of Christchurch and the constantly changing conditions of their urban environment. Using a physical slackline as a sculptural component that intervenes within and disrupts space, Lilo directs our movement through the gallery to recall the cordoned off zones in central Christchurch. The slackline poses a challenge to the viewer, to either ‘walk the line’, or cross it to get to the other side.

A project first commissioned and presented by The Physics Room in Christchurch, Lilo’s work continues to garner new meanings outside of its original context. In Wellington, the ‘remixed’ version turns its attention to a sense of locality that is always in connection with other places, through the use of popular culture and a shared understanding of one’s place within a constantly changing city. This exhibition suggests that a sense of locality is best achieved by pounding the pavement of any given city, planting one foot after the other in order to let unexpected experiences grow in an unhurried fashion.

Janet Lilo (Ngāpuhi, Samoan, Niuean) is based in Auckland and works primarily in digital video and photography. She has a Masters of Art and Design from Auckland University of Technology, has exhibited locally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions, and been the recipient of several residencies and awards. Recent exhibitions include In Spite of Ourselves: Approaching Documentary, St Paul Street Gallery (2012); Contact, Frankfurter Kunstverein (2012); Home AKL, Auckland Art Gallery (2012); Identi-tee video, Auckland War Memorial Museum (2012). More recently Lilo was selected for the Fifth Auckland Triennial, exhibiting Right of Way, Artspace (2013).

Janet Lilo: Hit Me With Your Best Shot (the remix) is the first exhibition in the new Deane Gallery Guest Curator Programme.

This  touring exhibition was developed in partnership with The Physics Room Christchurch.