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Once Were Pacific: Māori Connections to Oceania by Alice Te Punga Somerville (review)

Once Were Pacific: Māori Connections to Oceania by Alice Te Punga Somerville (review) book and media reviews the state of barkcloth painting by Mbuti today is in question because of the civil wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Recently a leader of the Mbuti testified before the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues concerning their oppression by neighbors who treat the Mbuti, also known as Pygmies, as animals to the point of the cannibalization of the Mbuti. In comparing the visual material cultures of Ömie and Mbuti, the exhibition of a new video edit of twentieth-century media by the late American photographer and filmmaker William F Wheeler made the Mbuti works in vitrines (glass museum cases) seem more contemporary; and the central staging in the Ömie room of a vitrine with a large nineteenth-century book open to an engraving of a bird of paradise framed those works to seem nostalgic and romantic. Such framing engages a peaceful paternalism, which crowds out any political and religious reference from the artworks and their display and marginalizes indigenous works such as these from the landscape of contemporary art. As work by women artists, in their aesthetics, I think the Ömie and Mbuti works can be compared most significantly to exhibitions in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Contemporary Pacific University of Hawai'I Press

Once Were Pacific: Māori Connections to Oceania by Alice Te Punga Somerville (review)

The Contemporary Pacific , Volume 25 (1) – Mar 27, 2013

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9464
Publisher site
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Abstract

book and media reviews the state of barkcloth painting by Mbuti today is in question because of the civil wars in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Recently a leader of the Mbuti testified before the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues concerning their oppression by neighbors who treat the Mbuti, also known as Pygmies, as animals to the point of the cannibalization of the Mbuti. In comparing the visual material cultures of Ömie and Mbuti, the exhibition of a new video edit of twentieth-century media by the late American photographer and filmmaker William F Wheeler made the Mbuti works in vitrines (glass museum cases) seem more contemporary; and the central staging in the Ömie room of a vitrine with a large nineteenth-century book open to an engraving of a bird of paradise framed those works to seem nostalgic and romantic. Such framing engages a peaceful paternalism, which crowds out any political and religious reference from the artworks and their display and marginalizes indigenous works such as these from the landscape of contemporary art. As work by women artists, in their aesthetics, I think the Ömie and Mbuti works can be compared most significantly to exhibitions in

Journal

The Contemporary PacificUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 27, 2013

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