Contemporary Māori and Pacific artists exploring place

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This article explores the notion of 'place', extending its scope to include the ocean, history and diaspora, in relation to six contemporary Māori and Pacific artists who were involved in the Pacifique(S) Contemporain exhibitions in Normandy, France in 2015. Structured into three sections, it addresses the three curatorial thematics that provided the overarching frame for the exhibitions. 'The ocean is a place' focuses on Angela Tiatia and Rachael Rakena, and acknowledges the importance of Epeli Hau'ofa's writing in relation to the ocean and Oceania as a crucial marker of identity both within its geographic location and beyond. 'History is a place' considers moving image installations by Michel Tuffery and Greg Semu, in particular referencing how they rework and reimagine colonial and art historical representations and conventions. 'Diaspora is a place' compares the photographic practices of Ane Tonga and Edith Amituanai, whose work reflects on and captures the dynamics that emerge as Pacific communities draw on and adapt cultural traditions, and negotiate relationships mediated by their migration and diaspora experiences.

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... But, Vercoe continues, the "once postcard perfect scene, with its myriad of female forms walking into the ocean, takes on a disturbing viewing encounter across the three-minute looped sequence." 13 In the context of her article, Vercoe articulates Tiatia's Salt as a place-based performance. Referencing Epeli Hauʻofa's identification of Oceania as a vast and diasporic place of Indigenous collectivity, Vercoe muses on the role of the present rising levels of the Pacific Ocean "in forcing a new kind of migration and exile experience on its community." ...
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This article discusses George Nuku’s artwork Bottled Ocean 2120 by focusing on the two core components of its title, the ocean and plastic, in order to explore the role of the Oceanic artist in the global climate change debate. Drawing on the understanding that artists can help to change perspectives in the debate on climate change and justice, the focus in this article is on Oceanic artists who move the discussion beyond the idea of Oceania being the region that contributes the least but is challenged the most by climate disaster, which includes plastic pollution. With his Bottled Ocean series, George Nuku laments the state of plastic-filled ocean in a region that expresses a connection to it. He urges the viewer to stop the single use of plastic, an action that he hopes to inspire by considering and demonstrating the divinity of the material.
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