New Publication: The Pacific Arts Association Newsletter, Number 27, December 2010
THE PACIFIC ARTS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
Number 27, December 2010
Table of Contents
- Message from President Michael Gunn
- Review of the10th PAA International Symposium in Rarotonga
- Manu Daula-Frigate Bird Award
- PAA Europe Annual Conference in Leiden
- Forthcoming International Conferences
- International Exhibitions and Publications of Interest
- Pacific Arts Journal
- PAA Member News
- In Memoriam
- Positions Available
- PAA Membership Information
- From the Editor
It has been an interesting year for the PAA. Our 10th International Symposium which was held in Rarotonga in August 2010 brought us together and enabled us to meet many of our Polynesian colleagues from the Cook Islands, Tonga, French Polynesia, and many other places in the Pacific. It was a conference to remind us of our focus and our interest, and one to let us know how global we are and how easily we can communicate nowadays. It was also a reminder to us of our responsibilities to ensure that we work with people from the Pacific when we write and publish our work on their cultural heritage. We were so happy when we were publicly challenged by Cook Islanders to work with them, for they gave us an opportunity that some of us were quick to take up. Already the fruits of this cooperation are becoming apparent. I would like to thank the University of the South Pacific at Rarotonga, who not only hosted the symposium but also carried the main financial burden of this important event. A special and heartfelt thanks to Rod Dixon and his staff for their professional and dedicated work in organizing the symposium, and making it such a success.
I would like to take this opportunity to announce the Executive committee’s decision to hold the Pacific Arts Association’s XIth International symposium, in Vancouver, Canada, at the University of Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology. The dates are yet to be decided, and will be announced in our next newsletter.
We acquired a new board member - Tarisi Vunidilo - who is very active in PIMA (Pacific Islands Museums Association), and already we have plans to activate the Pacific branch of the PAA, following the lead of the European branch and the North American branch. The first PAA (Pacific) meeting is posited to take place in Auckland in conjunction with the Pasifika Festival around 7-14 March, 2011. I wish the best for the New Year, and hope to see you all again soon.
The Conference held on the lush island of Rarotonga in August was attended by over 150 members from around the world, with a large contingent of Pacific artists and students-- many of whom were subsidized by the PAA-- as participants. With a program of panels and some 80 speakers presenting papers on varying aspects of the theme Museums, New Global Communities and Future Trends packed into the three day symposium, such contemporary and contentious issues as the equal participation of Islanders in the study of their own cultures, the possible (mis)use of the internet as a substitute for the actual repatriation of pieces, and the apparent lack of respect implied by the mispronunciation of indigenous names by Western specialists, made for engaging discourse in the question-and-answer periods following presentations.
The issue of repatriation of Pacific art to its islands of origin gave foreign academics and native Polynesian artists and scholars a chance to exchange their opinions regarding this critical topic.
Though the Pacific Arts Association symposium was not open to the public, post-conference exhibitions and functions were free and lectures, presentations and panels ended in both official and unofficial celebrations--four of which were open to the public.
During the time of the conference, Samoan artist Nanette Lela’ulu presented her work at an exhibition entitled In the House of My Heart at The Art Studio in Arorangi. Her paintings are inspired by Rarotongan people and landscapes that she encountered during a three-month residency here.
NZ-based media artist Janet Lilo staged an exhibition of her video art at the Beachcomber Contemporary Art gallery. Concurrently, the Akaoa hall hosted a tivaevae exhibition, on the heels of a number of lectures pertaining to them at the symposium.
Symposium participants also attended the launch of a special Pacific edition of Art Monthly Australia magazine, while those with performing arts experience put on a on a show at Staircase. Some members of Pacific Sisters, the iconic Pacific entertainers, performed alongside other artists and academics who gave readings and recited poetry. A number of presenters at the symposium have worked with and written about the Pacific Sisters.
Well-known Tongan artist Filipe Tohi, a long-time visitor to the Cook Islands, completed an artist-in-residency on Mangaia in 2004 and has since inspired many local artists. A master of lalava , and a carver, painter and sculptor, Tohi is also doing research for a filmed documentary on lashing.
Okusitino Mahina and Kolokesa Uafa Mahina-Tuai and Semisi Fetokai Potauaine launched their recently published book Tatau: Fenapasi 'oe Fepaki (Tatau: Symmetry, Harmony &Beauty) at the PAA symposium. Produced in collaboration with Jocelyne Dudding, the publication accompanied an exhibition of new sculptures by Tongan artist Semisi Fetokai Potauaine, Commonwealth Connections International Artist in Residence for 2010, at the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The book explores the philosophies that motivate Potauaine's work."
The recently published book by Adrienne Kaeppler – “The Mark and Carolyn Blackburn Collection of Polynesian Art” - was also presented to PAA members at the symposium. The book includes essays focusing on 1000 items in the Blackburn collection, which come from more than a dozen islands and island groups. Selected paintings, drawings, engravings and photographs, from the collection, give cultural and historical context to the artifacts and the essays. Among the items selected for the book, are those associated with James Cook's 18th-century explorations and Kamehameha the Great; Adm. Abel Aubert du Petit Thouars; Queen Pomare of Tahiti; and Chief Cakobau of Fiji.
Mark Blackburn and Adrienne Kaeppler worked together in Tonga in 1998 when they set up the special exhibition for the opening of the Tonga National Museum on the 80th birthday of King Taufa'ahau Tupou IV.
More information, local news about the exhibitions and other events surrounding the Conference, and more photographs can be found at http://pacificarts.org/symposia
For a complete book of abstracts of the Conference presentations see http://pacificarts.org/node/464
(With thanks to Jacqui Durrant's review in Art Monthly Australia)
by Christian Kaufmann to Karen Stevenson
In August 2010, in the context of the International PAA Conference in Rarotonga, Karen Stevenson received the MANU DAULA award. PAA membership voted to grant her this award for her outstanding achievement in and dedication to the arts of the Pacific.
Stevenson, of Tahitian descent, was born in Los Angeles; she holds degrees from the Universities of Hawaii and California and is a lecturer at the University of Canterbury's School of Fine Arts in Christchurch, NZ where she lives today.
The award-winning Stevenson's paper at this PAA conference, Abstraction in the Art of Filipe Tohi, also present at the symposium, elaborated on the fact that abstract art – a relatively new phenomenon in the West – has always been an integral part of Pacific art.
Stevenson is the author of The Frangipani is Dead- Contemporary Pacific Art in New Zealand 1985-2000, published in 2008 and is an editor, together with Virginia Webb, of Re-presenting Pacific Art. (http://www.pacificarts.org/node/196) (http://www.pacificarts.org/paapublications)
The Frangipani is Dead examines key artists and studies the inspiration and concerns that are the source of their art, examining it within the framework of the contemporary socio-political landscape of the period, with particular reference to Maori sovereignty. Reference: http://librarydata.christchurch.org.nz/web2/tramp2.exe/do_keyword_search/guest?setting_key=InternetBranch&servers=1home&query=TI+frangipani+dead+pacific&index=default
The award itself, a bronze medallion, was designed by Paul and Betty Beadle. Paul was a professor at the Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland University.
From Curator Oceania Dr. Fanny Wonu Veys at the Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden - National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, comes the news that the next PAA Europe Annual Conference will be held there in the context of the Mana Maori exhibition (closing May 2011). The theme of this year's meeting will be Museums and their relationship with Pacific Peoples.
The Mana Maori exhibition features ornately carved woodwork, jewellery, and garments which bring the Maori culture alive. The fine Maori museum pieces, acquired thanks to the financial support from the BankGiroLoterij and the Rembrandt Association, have a central role. Modern art from various New Zealand artists, such as George Nuku, Lisa Reihana and Lyonel Grant is also included in the exhibition which focuses attention on tattoos and the Haka dance, along with the flora and fauna of the beautiful country of New Zealand. In addition, a 14 metre waka created in situ at the Museum from a single 700 year old kauri tree, and officially presented to it in October 2010, is a highlight of the exhibition. http://www.volkenkunde.nl/index.aspx?lang=en
Call for Papers
Opportunities for encounters, dialogues, and sharing of information have grown more frequent. The access of Pacific communities to collections and archives, for example, contributes to their documentation; commissioning Pacific artists promotes and continues local artistic cultures and complements institutions' collections; expressing Pacific voices and rights to cultural difference is facilitated through participation in exhibitions and scholarly events. Collaborative projects have contributed in past decades to museums becoming of increasing importance in shaping cultural politics, both at the national and international level.
Papers focusing on the theme ‘Museums and their relationships with Pacific Peoples’ could deal with the following issues:
- How do ethnographic exhibition projects incorporate the perspectives of members of the represented cultures and their descendants both in the exhibition process as in the displays themselves?
- How to find partners among Pacific Peoples and ethnographic museums willing to define areas and goals of collaboration?
- What is the potential of specific types of cooperation, especially in relation to concepts of Cultural heritage, both material and intangible?
- How does one engage with historic material while acknowledging contemporary Pacific situations?
Symposium Registration Information
Registration and further information regarding the Conference will be emailed directly to members. Questions may be addressed to email@example.com
The New York CAA Conference February 22-25, 2011
As a benefit of its affiliation with the College Art Association, the PAA hosts a session of papers at the annual CAA conference.
The PAA Affiliated Session at the 2011 CAA Annual Conference Documenting Oceania after the 20th Century, chaired by Bernida Webb-Binder, presents how artists and scholars document identity in the first decade of the 21st century through art and visual culture in Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Discussing expressive forms such as film, poetry, the museum, and the Internet, the participants will bring into perspective the many ways in which geopolitics, indignity, diaspora, collecting, and technology converge to communicate narratives about the regions in the 10 years after 2000. This panel significantly redefines the form and purpose of the "documentary" as a point of reference for scholarship about art and identity about Oceania going forward into the next decades of the century.
To view the list of presenters and abstracts, please visit Current PAA at CAA at http://www.pacificarts.org/node/105
For more about the CAA, including membership information and the full conference schedule, please visit the web site at www.collegeart.org<http://www.collegeart.org/
Spirits and Headhunters: Art of the Pacific Islands
Bowers Museum Santa Ana, California
Closes 31 December 2010
Lapita: Oceanian Ancestors
Musée du quai Branly, Paris in collaboration with the Vanuatu Cultural Centre
Closes 9 January 2011
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