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Mosaic of Documentation Thumbnails

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Charles Buenconsejo, 2016 – 2020, 2020 (installation view) digital inkjet print, detail, commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett Charles Buenconsejo, 2016 – 2020, 2020 (installation view) digital inkjet print, commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett Charles Buenconsejo, 2016 – 2020, 2020 (installation view) digital inkjet print, commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Courtesy of the artist Charles Buenconsejo, 2016 – 2020, 2020 (installation view) digital inkjet print, commissioned by Te Tuhi, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. Photo by Sam Hartnett

Because no magnifying glass is provided, these minute images remain deeply private, personal tropes for a collective familial experience. Some units are doubled, or lie in clusters linked by subtle variations in light or movement. We see scattered red specks from clothing or snaking lines of blue skies obviously outside.

Pakuranga

 

Charles Buenconsejo
2016-2020, 2020
Curated by Andrew Kennedy

 

5 September - 29 November 2020

Pinned onto the Te Tuhi Drawing Wall, a large sheet of paper, an inkjet print, presents a mosaic haze of thousands of tiny thumbnail photographs, structured in five columns and arranged roughly in monthly blocks. Chronologically this compressed visual record of a Filipino migrant family’s experience in Aotearoa New Zealand starts almost five years ago, that point positioned near the top left-hand corner. Amongst the plethora of shimmering ‘tesserae’ are slivers of white horizontal and vertical lines, setting out a flickering grid that seems about to dissolve.

Charles Buenconsejo and his family here present their documentation of themselves, encountered people and places, though rows and columns of photos that are either butted up or stacked, each individual unit about 1.0 cm square in size, 0.75 cm square, 1.0 x 0.75 cm, or 0.75 x 1.0 cm.

In front of them seems to hover a grey mist, peppered with little flares of chroma. You can detect a matrix but within each modular rectangle there is no consistent pattern of zigzagging lines. The internal structure of each moiré-like block is unique.

Because no magnifying glass is provided, these minute photographic images remain deeply private, personal tropes for a collective familial experience. Some units are doubled, or lie in clusters linked by subtle variations in light or signs of movement. We see scattered red specks from clothing or snaking lines of blue skies obviously outside.

Te Tuhi’s exhibition brochure talks of Charles Buenconsejo experiencing a rearrangement not only of gut bacteria (via a changing diet), and garden soil as a metaphor for requirements needed for an individual’s growth, but also the confidence building of mental processes. These flower through support groups and allies that nurture a cultural reorientation and adaptation—an absorption of new nationally prevalent mores and preoccupations—subtle stuff that would be super hard to detect even if these photographs were greatly enlarged.

John Hurrell

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