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An invitation to an open conversation.

Following on with my usual work process and with the New Zealand / Dunedin project in mind, I gathered a small collection of objects including a couple of different sets of tourist slides gleaned from the Brunswick / Melbourne op-shops. These New Zealand souvenirs are similar to Australian souvenirs, the text is British colonialism and notions of exotic land and people, however I am hoping there is more interesting ideas to explore. So I propose an open conversation based on the ocular text that has been gathered.
My collaborator could add objects or use existing ones. The aim would be to present these objects / images as an ocular text at Blue Oyster.

Alex Rizkalla

Response to Instructional Models

Tourist souvenirs are strange objects. Often culturally dated and aesthetically repugnant, they are designed to represent a culture, providing generalisations about both its contemporary situation and its history. Collecting Culture presents these objects as an ocular text that reads of British colonialism and its notions of exotic land and people. By removing these objects, collected from opportunity shops in Melbourne and Dunedin, from their intended domestic environment and presenting them in the gallery their representational histories are revealed, allowing them to be explored and critiqued. By emulating the museum’s method of display the role of institution in the consumption of exotic objects is further highlighted. The categorical nature of the museum and its imposed power structures are reinforced by the text that accompanies the objects. Also collected, from the local Natural History Museum and Art Gallery, the text provides a clear framework from which to view the work, commenting on the continuing tradition of colonial representation within the institution.

Clare  Fleming

Issues of colonisation are by nature controversial and painful. The Imperialisation of Australia and New Zealand and their indigenous people is a history we can not escape from or edit. For me, as a Pakeha, it is important to recognise the legacy of this colonisation and its institutionalisation. It is also important to initiate discussions about this legacy from as many view points as possible, and to be respectful of these differing perspectives. It has been an interesting process going into a seemingly didactic project with two other artists with very different backgrounds and cultural experiences from my own and trying to create an open dialogue about colonisation and its representation and commercialisation of indigenous cultures. Dialogue became an important part of the process as well as the outcome of the work. It is only through discourse that understanding of cultural differences can be reached, and through this exchange, the negatives of colonisation can be critiqued from a multi-faceted perspective appropriate to the varied cultural population of Australia and New Zealand.

Rohana Weaver