Jess Holly Bates


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 In this stunning new live performance work, powerhouse Jess Holly Bates and performance artist Forest (née Vicky) Kapo collaborate for the first time to create INHERITANCE, a show made in the pressure cooker of New Zealand's current inequality crisis. Tracking that inequality through their own embodied stories of class difference, this Māori-Pākehā duo - directed with the exquisite precision of Alyx Duncan - create an experience like no other: singing to our free-market policy makers, casting a neo-indigenous spell on current colonial privilege and running a wide tooth afro comb through the messy business of who-gets-what in the great transfer of wealth across white and brown generations.

 Who We Are:

Forest Vicky Kapo is an experienced performance artist, sound-maker and contemporary dancer, who moved to Australia to escape the exhausting daily racism of being Māori in Aotearoa. Recent works include John Doe (2019), The Kite Maker (2018) and false prophets/true gods = ShaWoman (2017). They are a home-owner.

Jess Holly Bates is a queer white theatre-maker, performer and poet known for stirring the pot of Pākehā privilege (Real Fake White Dirt), advocating body sovereignty and rampant nudity (The Offensive Nipple Show) and code-slipping to increase empathy (TEDx Auckland). They rent, but will inherit Auckland property.

Alyx Duncan is an award winning pakeha choreographer and director, homeowner and mother of one. Her research looks under the surface of our everyday to ask questions about the love between people (The Red House, Mr & Mrs Jones, Union) and relationship with our environment (The Tide Keeper).

Why we need to make this:

INHERITANCE is about looking at wealth in NZ and ourselves. It is about understanding that inequality is not a natural state of being - it is a constructed reality supported by policy decisions, colonial histories and structural racism. Benefits were slashed in the "Mother-of-all-Budgets" in 1991 and have not been meaningfully increased since. Treaty breaches abound as the people of Ihumatao face cultural erasure at the hands of a billion dollar company. Aotearoa has created a trickle-up society of material wealth, where the annual rich list gets passively richer and richer. We need to call time on the competitive game of colonisation through capitalism. It's a status quo we often wish to turn away from. It's just too hard.

But as artists, we want to use our platform and the shifting whetū of Matariki to reflect deeply on the state of race relations not in terms of a kind of fuzzy sense of harmonious or tense, but rather through the tangible lens of what we have inherited as Māori and Tauiwi, and what we will hand down. We want to filter these difficult conversations with humour, intelligence and attention through our bank of skills, expect movement, te reo, te reo Pākehā, live sound, poetry and political parody. We want to address where we stand now, to make it possible to understand where we are going. We want to take you with us.

Where your money will go:

Your generous funds will help us to pay our excellent designer Sean Curham, afford rehearsal space hire, contribute to the costs of flights to get all our performers in once place, operator and technician costs and to pay for our marketing and poster design.

We are asking for a $1888 to cover these fundamental costs. We have a further hope to make $2500, which would mean we could recompense the primary artists at a heavily reduced rate for the many hours of work they will take to make this performance.

We know you want excellent art made that is relevant, necessary and entertaining. We are the people for the job. We appreciate any donation you can offer to help us make an exceptional piece of work.

Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou

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