Someone's Mana | Head On Photo Festival

Someone's Mana

Michael Krzanich

Backstage Gallery at Conny Dietzschold Gallery

Exhibition Dates:

15 May 2017 - 28 May 2017

Exhibition Description

The people of Aotearoa (New Zealand) understand the verity of the word 'mana'. Its reverence extends from the ground an individual stands on in the most remote regions of the country, to the people they think of in their distant past. Distinguished Maori cultural adviser and poet Haare Williams describes this succinctly in the introduction of the photo book 'Someone's Mana'.

Mana can never have negative power. Mana Atua - the pull of God, mana tangata - the charismatic pull of a person or people, and mana whenua - the pull of the land. Mana is a personal and chiefly status, the power of possibility and potentiality.

This exhibition of Someone's Mana draws from the internationally known photo book to propose the entity of mana in contemporary New Zealand society. Krzanich's rich and evocative photography pushes us to interpret its role within each image.

“ In my time creating the series and book I decided to suggest the presence of mana through the situations and experience of people I met. Their personal view of a place, an object, or person were different from the next person - therefore their perspective on the mana of something could be totally different from their family, friend or entire community. It's important for those viewing the work to understand there's a narrative locked in to an individual image that might be deeply personal to someone. Mana has a role in each image and it's up to the audience to imagine its presence in any thing they notice within that image. ”

Through this concept, Krzanich proposes a comparison with mana's historical meaning in Polynesian culture where its spiritual nature is often perceived as a supernatural force. The belief that the entity of mana extends to in-animate objects, not just people and places.

The photograph 'South' from Someone's Mana was a finalist in the 2015 Bowness Photography Prize at MGA.

The photo book Someone's Mana is published and distributed in over 40 countries by Hatje Cantz and available for sale at the exhibition or on the website:


Exhibition Space

Dates and Times

15 May 2017 - 28 May 2017
Artist Talk: 
Sat 20 May 2017, 2:00PM

Open Hours

Opening Hours: 
Monday - Thursday: 11:00 am-6:00 pm
Friday: 11:00 am-8:30 pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00 am-8:30 pm