36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea (2013 – present) is a series of nine performances by New York-based artist Sarah Cameron Sunde, spanning six continents. The performance consists of Sunde standing in a bay for a full tidal cycle, generating conversations about deep time, embodiment and sea-level rise. This will be the eighth and penultimate iteration of the work, and will be created here in the Manukau Harbour - Te Manukanukatanga ō Hoturoa.

As the water engulfs Sunde’s body up to her chin and then recedes back down to her feet, the local community is invited to be involved by joining Sunde in the water and marking the passing of the hours from the shore. It is a radical call to reconsider our relationship with water as individuals, as communities, and as a species. The performance is an investigation into our vulnerability as individuals and as a collective humanity. Here in Aotearoa, 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea has found itself responding specifically to duration of the pandemic in relation to our shared futures. He waka eke noa, we are all in this together.

Originally planned to take place in 2020 alongside the exhibition 36.5 / A Durational Performance with the Sea, Sunde spent three weeks exploring the Manukau Harbour, connecting with local communities, and preparing to perform this work on March 29. But the country went into lockdown four days before the event and closed all borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The performance had to be cancelled and Sunde returned home to New York.

Now, over two years later, the borders have reopened and Sunde has returned to Tāmaki Makaurau to complete this work. Local cultural arts practitioners, Amiria Puia-Taylor (Ngaati Te Ata Waiohua, Ngaati Tiipa, Hamoa, Kuki Airani, Tahiti) and Nettie Norman (Ngāti Kuri, Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Whakahotu) will weave together the people of the Manukau, with support from HIWA kapa haka. Puia-Taylor plans to stand with Sunde for the full duration.

The entire 12 hour and 23 minute performance will be filmed in real-time from multiple perspectives in collaboration with a local film team, live-streamed around the world, and turned into a durational video work of the same length, premiering on Monday 23 May, in the Lopdell Theatre.

Supported by Te Uru and AUT School of Art and Design.

36.5 / Te Manukanukatanga ō Hoturoa is dedicated to Tavalea Fanguna.

36.5 / Te Manukanukatanga ō Hoturoa Phase 1 video (2020)

Monday 16 May, 4.08am – 4.31pm
Kaitarakihi Beach, Huia Rd, Tāmaki Makaurau