I see my study of museum curation and anthropology as a contextualisation of the’appropraiton’ debate of the 1980’s, I played with authenticity of museum artefacts and the curious nature of why a fictional bone/ stick might be ‘elevated’ to a museum setting .
My Pou are supposed to be simultaneously aesthetically pleasing as they are also supposed to be disconcerting. Am I being disrespectful? Holding my own cultures (plural) in contempt? Or assuming control over the ‘antidote’ that Pakeha function through? That secular, individualistic manner and the way that Pakeha culture functions? Within a Maori narrative. At the end of the day I do believe that its relative to how you behold culture. If I were to decide that yes my pou are offensive then that would be absolutely detrimental to my creativity, so how do I navigate this space where I’m subverting both of my cultures? I borrow Te Aroha Henares’ words here in that ‘expressive discovery’ was practiced by my tupuna far before me. “ It is almost implicit in the Tai Tokerau make up that they can be expected not to conform to tradition, ritual and custom. It is as though Nukutawhiti, Kupe and Ngake who stand at the prow of their waka and are moving forward on a voyage of discovery. Discovery means moving into the unknown, and being totally confident and fearless about launching into the deep. To linger for too long in one place, on one sentiment even, threatens to imprison one there. That is not expressive discovery. That is not true Taitokerau nature.” (Henare)