Month: June 2016

Fat Maui: how he broke the internet

In the last week my Facebook feed has been full of critiques about Maui’s representation in the upcoming Disney film Moana, penned by New Zealand’s own Taika Waititi. This will be one in a sea of think pieces which have already started flowing here or here and even here on The Guardian. This was intensified after a meme surfaced comparing Maui to a pig and a hippo. To date it has 1247 shares and 2800 likes and climbing, doing it’s rounds in the Pacific Island community both in New Zealand and world wide. There are various arguments against the Disney depiction of Maui and many stem from comparing the build of Maui the Polynesian demigod (which people are calling obese to the point of perpetuating stereotypes) to real-life buff Pacific actors who play non-Pacific often European heroes such as Samoan The Rock Dwayne Johnson as Hercules or Hawaiian Jason Momoa as Aquaman. Even characters such as King Triton from The Little Mermaid aren’t safe from the crossfire. The non-Hollywood representation of deities across different cultural landscapes …

All is unfair in art and privilege

Header Image: Terror Internationale, installation view, as part of Pacific Real Time. Image courtesy Nikau Hindin I. I stood outside The Cloud in the rain for a good ten minutes. I was experiencing equal parts intimidation and trepidation, anticipating that I might not be the usual folk to attend an art fair. I did go to the last Auckland Art Fair in 2013 but I moved in and out rather quickly. Much like a Travel Expo I’d been to previously, I had ambitious ideas but no substantial amount of expendable income. I left only with dashed hopes and picturesque business cards.     No, I didn’t pay for this ticket. At the entrance, I presented my crumpled paper ticket to the attendant. Across the way, Karen Walker and Petra Bagust hovered together amongst a booming crowd at the Paul Nache Gallery stand. It was wet outside and windy in, yet they appeared pristine and immaculate. I quickly hurried past a handful of swanky dealer stalls to a place littered with more recognisable faces. The not-for-profit …

The Absent Sense at RAMP Gallery

Somewhere out in the universe decaying stars that have morphed into deep black holes are converging and churning up space and time in a terrible cataclysmic process.. If an astronaut happened to be floating by in the vicinity, they would hear, (if still alive at that point) the sound the collision made. The sound might be a ringing or groaning, or screaming at a pitch high or low enough to reverberate throughout the eons of spacetime, for all time, eventually reaching us here on the planet. It might take a billion years but by the time it did reach us it would be so faint as to be ‘impossible‘ to hear. But machines are being built 4 square kilometres across, somewhere in America to pick up this sound and allow us to eavesdrop on these soft discordant cosmic notes. We call that, science. In New Zealand we put sensitive microphones down among the grapes to hear them fermenting. Or at least Kent Macpherson does, Master of Arts graduate in Music from Wintec.   This is …

Mother’s Ruin goes to Bedrock

This is an on-going series that investigates Bella Horlor’s new role as a young mother. An artist and poet, Horlor shares the banal quandaries that exist between artistic and maternal labour. I hauled the baby from the warmth of the car. I’m sorry girl but I’m not missing this one. I fumble with my keys, and lock the car before I remember that breast milk is a natural sedative and actually that might be my best bet here. So into the front seat she goes, on the boob looking up at me with a slight frown. I haven’t been to an art show since becoming a mother. Mainly because they often tend to be right around our bedtime, and honestly when I found out I was having a baby, I lost plenty of friends who were more comfortable to just leave me to it. That’s been fine, but not for this one. This one was Bedrock, a show at a Studio One Toi Tū by Charlotte Benoit. Charlotte and I were in the same year …