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"Destination Pioneer City" selected for Video Art Festival

Bronwyn Holloway-Smith and Simon Ward, Destination Pioneer City (2012), Video, 6’20”; still image courtesy of the artists
Bronwyn Holloway-Smith and Simon Ward, Destination Pioneer City (2012), Video, 6’20”; still image courtesy of the artists


:Destination Pioneer City" by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith and Simon Ward selected for 2016 International Video Art Festival "Entre Islas / Between Islands"

"Destination Pioneer City" (2012) is a video made by New Zealand artist Bronwyn Holloway-Smith in collaboration with film-maker Simon Ward and commissioned by CoLab (AUT University). "Destination Pioneer City" introduces future settlers to some of the features of the envisioned Martian colony Pioneer City. The video is one work in an ongoing body of works about the city that the artist has been producing since 2010. Other works to date have included public art installations, gallery installations, digital works, printed material, and other art interventions in the form of corporate-style ephemera.

"Destination Pioneer City" has been selected as the New Zealand video artwork for the 2nd edition of "Entre Islas / Between Islands" International Video Art Festival (2016) by curator Rob Garrett.

Participating islands and countries for Entre Islas / Between Islands in 2016 are Madeira (Portugal), Sicily (Italy), Bahrain, Galápagos (Ecuador), Canary Islands (Spain) and New Zealand.

Selecting "Destination Pioneer City", Rob Garrett, the curator of the New Zealand section of the Festival, commented that the video is an amazing and timely comment on humankind's quest for frontiers to 'colonise' and a moving satire on the contrast between the migrant's dream and the likely hardships of both the journey and the sense of isolation from the homeland that will be experienced.

Using the visual style and language of airport arrival videos, city tourism promotional films and residential development advertising, Bronwyn Holloway-Smith imagines the messages and style that promoters might use to advertise the attractions and benefits of emigrating to a pioneer settlement on Mars.

Treating Mars as the island of destination and earth as the Motherland is both poignant and apt at a time when escapist tourism and the flight of refugees have collided on the luxurious resort beaches and islands of the Mediterranean; and many 'homelands' are being turned into fortresses to keep out those with desperate dreams of a better life – Australia, Hungary and Israel, to name a few.

Watch the video on here:

Bronwyn Holloway-Smith (1982) is a Wellington-based artist who works in a wide-range of media, specialising in cross-platform, trans-disciplinary installation practice.

Simon Ward makes “videos like you borrowed your mate from art school's video camera for the weekend” with his friends, in a leaky shed, in central Wellington, New Zealand.

Rob Garrett is an Auckland-born independent curator living in Poland and working between Europe and New Zealand on public art commissions and festivals and emerging artists’ installation projects.

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Contact details: 
Rob Garrett:

Written by

Rob Garrett

14 Sep 2015