"What strikes one about Bolatagici's work as an artist, and as an emerging and highly engaged Pacific voice in art world academia, is her take on the big picture…[i]n drawing out the focus of her work and undermining the seamless layers of commodification, Bolatagici humanises and subverts the bigger stage of war, global capitalism and racism. It is fundamentally the value and nature of 'our air', 'our water' and 'our' thinking that she brings to light."
Maurice O'Riodran, 'Torika Bolatagici and the Big Picture', Art Monthly Australia, #232, August 2010, p.67.
Torika Bolatagici was born in Tasmania and spent the early years of her life living between Hobart, Sydney and her father's village – Suvavou, Fiji.
Her interdiscilplinary practice investigates the relationships between visual culture, human ecology and contemporary Pacific identities. Torika works across a range of media, including photography, video and mixed-media installation and her work has been exhibited in the United States, Mexico, Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia.
Torika is a photography lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Melbourne where she teaches contemporary theory and practice. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the College of Fine Arts,University of New South Wales.
Her doctoral project titled 'The Personal is (Geo)Political: Representing Agency and the Fijian Military Body' is concerned with investigating ways in which the Fijian body has been mythologised and constructed through colonial and neo-colonial visual representations. Through her photographic and video work Torika explores Fijian agency and the role of contemporary 'soldier photography' in the co-construction of these myths.
Central to this research is an examination of contemporary vernacular images of military and private security military company (PSMC) personnel that circulate in public archives and social networking websites. Her practices emerges at the intersection of these found images and her own reflections on contemporary ecologies, geopolitics and visual culture.