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Ngā Tākaro Reo

Exhibition

MFA Final

Location

Elam School of Fine Arts

Auckland

New Zealand

Year

2020

This body of work uses language, sourced natural materials, and the specifications of popular children’s games to form a critique on the systemic prejudices held against Māori belief systems and Māori relations to non-human others (eg. addressing mountains and rivers as ancestors). By forming these indigenous materials to the parameters of games such as hopscotch, knuckle bones, dice, and jenga, the game becomes difficult to play, or near impossible. This can be likened to the ways in which Western institutions and academia have historically excluded Māori ways of learning and knowing - through oral tradition, whakapapa and whānau structures, and collaborations with one another and non-humans - in favour of absolute resolutions, observable phenomena, and data. By attempting to integrate Māori traditional practice into the framework that is Western academia, there is an added difficulty. Western academia was not built for mātauranga Māori methods, thus, Māori oral tradition, learning, and relativity are bound to fail when adhering to these structures.

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