DDMMYY 70 Double Take

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    Kelvin Soh
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Member
    Sam Wieck
  • Kaitautoko / Contributors
    Edith Amituanai, Christina Barton
  • Client
    Edith Amituanai

Edith Amituanai’s photographic practice as an artist is a rare gem. Focusing on her immediate community in West Auckland, she offers us a glimpse into a vital side of New Zealand culture through a lens that isn’t always represented in fine art. Her solo exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery in Wellington is a career milestone that needed a supporting publication that we were commissioned to provide.

Working with an artist situates the tasks of a designer adjacent with that of a curator: do we play TO the cultural themes, identity and ideas when we consider the presentation of the work? We were aware that Edith’s work transcends simply being known as the work of a female Samoan artist, even though that’s factually correct. For us, we felt that the biggest compliment and reverence we could offer Edith and the complexities of her work was simply to present it as raw as possible and use the contemporary, minimalist and institutional design language of the Adam Art gallery for its typographic voice. Sometimes, an attitude of servitude, expressed in restraint can be a powerful political statement.

The publication format was intended to infuse an aroma of periodicals to the book form. We used magazine-native conventions (eg. leader spreads, size, dimensions, glossy laminated cover etc.) crossed with the formality of classic art book conventions (eg. image plates sections, captions with essays, single column text) to paradoxically offer the formality of institutional endorsement as well as expressing how periodicals diffuse that very formality by documenting the nowness of everyday life with humility, empathy, relevance and vitality.