06 Dec 2019
Two hundred and fifty years after the first encounters between Māori, Pacific Peoples, and Europeans, six Māori and Pasifika artists are being supported by Creative New Zealand to speak at Oceania exhibition’s Special Weekend, hosted by Quai Branly Museum (Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac) in Paris from 28 to 30 June.
Oceania first opened to acclaim in London last year, bringing together 170 works of Aotearoa and South Pacific artists from European and New Zealand public collections. Spanning over 500 years, the collection curated by Professor Nicholas Thomas and Dr Peter Brunt, pays homage to a region with both diverse cultures and identities, and shared reflections and histories.
The line-up of New Zealand artists includes Fiona Pardington, Mata Aho Collective (Erena Baker, Sarah Hudson, Bridget Reweti and Terri Te Tau) and John Pule, whose work is currently on display at the Oceania exhibition from 12 March to 7 July, 2019. The programme will feature artist presentations on topics ranging from climate change, to empowerment through arts practice, to indigenous knowledge.
Creative New Zealand’s Senior Manager, Arts Development Services, Cath Cardiff says, “After the standout success of Oceania in London, we’re delighted that audiences in France will have the unique opportunity to hear from living artists creating the contemporary taonga of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific.”
“Oceania presents a profound experience where past and present intertwine, and this Special Weekend is a valuable opportunity for the artists to speak to their work and engage with key international art influencers, collectors and other artists in the contemporary art world in Europe,” she says.
Stéphane Martin, President of the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac says, “Building on the Oceania exhibition with the Special Weekend, the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac is extremely honoured to be able to shed light on the contemporary Pacific by showcasing its vibrant art scene, its battle against climate change and globalisation, as well as its incredible resilience. The support of Creative New Zealand has been tremendous in allowing artists represented in the exhibition to attend and participate in the Special Weekend.”
Creative New Zealand has invested $36,000 for travel and accommodation for the artists to attend the Oceania Special Weekend. The support falls under the umbrella of Creative New Zealand’s International Programme which aims to connect high-quality New Zealand artists and arts organisations with global markets and audiences, develops international networks and capability, and offers opportunities for cultural and artistic exchange.
Featuring painstakingly sculpted canoes, stunning body ornaments, ritual figures, contemporary videos and installations, Oceania reveals how tradition and ancestral memory coexist with the visionary and sometimes critical perspective that these artists have of their society and the rest of the world.
Oceania has been organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London, with the musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, Paris, and the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology of Cambridge.
The exhibition is curated by Professor Nicholas Thomas, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and Dr Peter Brunt, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand, with Associate Curators Dr Adrian Locke, Senior Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts in London and Stéphanie Leclerc Caffarel, Head of Oceania collections, Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac.
Research towards the exhibition was supported by a research grant, 'Pacific Presences: Oceanic art and European museums', which received funding from the European Research Council (ERC).
For more information about Oceania
Visit the Quai Branly Museum (Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac) website
Please note that parts of this website are in French.
Media contact for Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac