Thursday, February 23, 2012

Andrei Phrase of the day

"Culturally unsafe"

Found it in a news story regaling us with a tale of how an "art installation" that blows bubbles in part generated with Mexican "Morgue water", whatever that may be, has been cancelled from the Dowse art gallery.
As the artwork confronted issues of death and memory, there were concerns about it being displayed alongside the sacred pataka (Maori store house), Nuku Tewhatewha, which was carved in the 1850s as a sign of support for Kingitanga (the Maori King Movement).

The pataka is the only surviving one of seven built around the North Island. It was gifted to Hutt City in the 1970s to be cared for at the Dowse as part of its collection.

The Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust, which acts as a local iwi authority, was in direct conversation with the Dowse to prevent the exhibition going ahead.

Natural Resources Adviser Liz Mellish said she was delighted that the trust's advice had been taken on board. She said the trust would have been unhappy at the use of the exhibition in any gallery but the situation was made worse by the fact that the sacred pataka was housed there.

''From our perspective it is inviting death in the door, more or less. In using fluids from people who have died and blowing them on to the bodies of living people is culturally unsafe.''

She said if the exhibition had gone ahead, the pataka would have had to have been closed to the public to prevent cultural contamination.

It's a good phrase. I can think of lots of things it could be applied to - starting with most of the pap they show on TV.

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