St Paul st Gallery AUT


Anna-Marie White: Kūpapa/kaupapa: Māori curatorial practice in the 21st century lecture

Presented as part of the Curatorial Strategies public lecture series

7 March 2016 - 7 March 2016

Anna-Marie White: Kūpapa/kaupapa: Māori curatorial practice in the 21st century

This session will trace the major developments in Māori curatorial practice since 2000. Specifically, the session will consider Maori curatorship as a form of ‘neo-colonial collaboration’, a contention that was made about non-western art and curatorial practice by Rasheed Araeen in 2002. Particular attention is paid to the complicit role that Māori curators play in perpetuating colonial power and domination, how their presence camouflages an otherwise intact and oppressive structure, and the limitations on their agency to effect change. Moreover, the presence of Māori curators within the system has dramatically changed the nature of protest by those seeking to fundamentally change the system:

“The ground has now shifted … The struggle is now not just against what some ‘black’ artists … used to call ‘white institutions’, but the system which now also includes black, brown and yellow faces. It should therefore be clear that we cannot build solidarity only on the basis of race, culture, ethnicity or nation. Our new alliance should be with those who are committed to a genuine change”.[1]

Anna-Marie White (Te Ātiawa) was the curator at The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson between 2005-2015. In 2016 she will begin a PhD in contemporary Māori art at Victoria University of Wellington, focussing on the period between the 1970s and the 2000s. Likewise her curatorial practice is focussed on identity politics in New Zealand art specialising in contemporary Māori art. Selected exhibitions include Kaihono Āhua / Vision Mixer: Revisioning Contemporary New Zealand Art (2013), Puehu: Cultural Dust. Contemporary Polynesian Video and Performance Art (2013), The Maui Dynasty (2008) and Pākehā Now! (2007).

This lecture is presented as part of Curatorial Strategies, MA in Arts Management, AUT.

[1] Rasheed Araeen, ‘A New Beginning. Beyond Postcolonial Cultural Theory and Identity Politics’, 2002, p.343.