The 2019 Projects Programme is titled Whanaungatanga—an expression that may be translated in English as ‘kinship’. Whanaungatanga provides the basis for the selection process as much as a theme for the presentation.
Having been involved in the two previous iterations of the Projects, curator Francis McWhannell wished both to acknowledge his repeated affiliation and—in some measure—to counteract it. Eschewing the ‘open call’ system used in the past, McWhannell invited a selection of ten ‘alumni’ from Projects 2018 to nominate the new cohort of artists, creating a line-up that reflects the networks of collegiality, friendship, and influence that underpin so much art-making.
The previous participants (nine artists and one curator) were given the option of nominating new artists, facilitating new presentations, or actively collaborating in their production. Whanaungatanga was positioned as an optional provocation, with the artists invited to make works exploring questions of their own choosing. As it happens, all have proposed projects that resonate with ideas of kinship, cooperation, and community—deemphasising the individual.