Blacktown Interior . Abstract.

In a 1999 interview for Art Asia Pacific (1999), Michael Parekowhai set up a three-fold nexus between his Marae, his suburban home and an exploration and interpretation of the complexities of his surrounding space. The grouping draws near an historical and urban complex that is intrinsically linked to the living of a culture, Parekowhai states:

Our meeting house is my iwi homeland has two sides and a ceiling. It’s got no carving. It’s just little. It’s not used any more, but it is abandoned only in a physical sense. This is because we carry it wherever we go.

Our living marae [communal meeting place] is really our suburban family home. It is a 1960’s two-storyed brick and tile house with five bedrooms, four toilets and a carport…That’s how it is. That’s the marae I know, that’s the meeting house I know. Our house is decorated with taonga [treasures]. We have TVs, a radiogram, some Copenhagenware crystal vases, beige Berber carpets and central heating instead.

We have been taught that being Maori does not necessarily depend on physical things or the traditional symbols to express itself. Being Maori draws upon all that’s around you so that we might understand its underlying spirit.

Parekowhai (cited in 1999:73)

In Parekowhai’s text the grouping of these narratives develops a sense of a cultural amalgamation, a sense that being Maori draws from an interpretation of an alike and disparate array of elements, all of which become implicit signifiers to frame cultural concerns as something inhabited, which despite the exclusivity of such research, through the abstract nature of what is in review becomes living and formative – a structure, which is actively negotiated and amended. An interior with boundaries that we make and remake as a space demarcated in the building upon of certain select elements and the discarding of others. So we can bring in elements to necessarily contradict and expand our readings of a space. It is a reading of our cultural identity as something that we live in, in favour of it being something produced for us and available, that we might cling to it for support.

Studio theory method.

The central concept that underpins this project is a negotiating of Maori cultural identities as they are found within an urban location – this manifests in a methodological approach shared between the exegesis and practical project. The body text of the exegesis and the practical quotient share a unified theme as investigations of support structures as they are experienced within banal realities of the everyday – supports that we utilise as operative mediations of the interiority of urban milieu. With this approach I contend that there is a necessary praxis between practical and written components, that they are both mediums contingent to an exploration of complexities and disparities within a location, but that as distinct sites of research they also open up a potentiality for an expanded articulation of the central concept. The written component is an annotation of methodologies employed to realize the fulfilment of the practical component, but in the body text of the exegesis it expands as a story – a built up collation and exploration of narratives and elements that develop to become an articulation of the living within the milieu in question. I have selected this methodology in order to avoid opening and splitting a reading of the city from domestic and banal considerations, to become solely driven by foreign cultural imperatives that inculcate a subject toward their colonisation – ideally this methodology is to prepare the structure of both the practical and written projects to be something added to, a space where elements accrue, changing mass, just as the contextual frame must itself change or be ready for change in order to precipitate its own redundancy and collapse.

Exegesis.

Within the exegesis I have identified relationships between elements that I consider intersect upon my impression of this expansive location and its residing cultural texts. I have grouped narratives, as flowing interpretations of these cultural identities to build upon existing Maori texts – so that they might operate in my favour as structures of support. Making a small interior of my own – an interior within which I have carried out my research. In this urban milieu connections are made. This is a city for realizing them. I have seen the central city as a location of limbo, a space that is neither complete nor incomplete but rather, that is formative – a site that is ours to make and remake. The methodological approach of the exegesis is a building up of narratives – a developing of a text, which is not wholly congruous in exploring the central concept but one that in an attempt to enter a site of Maoriness considers the relevance of its elements lies in the hope that one might off set the other to develop the truth of a location and a cultural composite. Walter Benjamin (1999) contents that truth is not fixed or able to exist within the insularity of a singular reading. Rather that truth develops in the accruement of a cadence, which must be spoken from a plurality of positions:

‘Truth becomes something living; it lives solely in the rhythm by which statement and counterstatement displace each other in order to think each other.’

So between ‘statement and counterstatement’ an economy or a speak-able middle ground might be developed.

Practice.

Within the practical component I took apart furniture; which as I write this it feels like some belated apology should be added and directed toward the original pieces. The forms have realized a degree of structural redundancy that is only enlisted due to my own inclination to explore the opening of space. I saw wardrobes opening, not simply doors, but the hidden internal spaces transformed as exterior. Things became flattened, and suggestive of the previous form than constructive of it. Flattened to align with the interior of this house – to mix with the flow of momentum for within this methodology, a physical violence is subjected upon the object, furniture. With the previous formation while it may be rebuilt by its effector, the is an obvious distance. The connections that have constituted the formation of the structure have been fractured. In this house there are traces of its parts, such as its paint and layers of it’s repainting. Roughly cut concrete walls that open to the hallway and kitchen. What then becomes most affecting to our understanding of the space is a regrouping of the elements that we would use to explain it. When you realise these cultural identities dispersed around you, there’s an instance where you become framed as both the progenitor of, and the witness to a disparate array of elements. It’s possible to group these, to set up frames and to order like elements. These elements extracted, taken and isolated, grouped, promoted, or saved, even blurred against the peripheries of a background, still – like residing memories – bear semblances to the previous formation. Be it in narrative groupings or in practical works there is a heaviness and a gravity to these pieces, these parts, a familiarity that develops through the pragmatic nature of recognising and isolating elements. To be in the foreground of this scene is seeing something familiar anew, with imperatives therein to understand the existing, to rebuild, to realise the potential of the object. That it might become a malleable medium for new formations to be manifested – created out of that which lies before you.

To recognise and unbuild these interior spaces makes for an absorption into the surrounding exterior space. What ever was within and perhaps hidden is turned over. The interiors of these pieces of furniture meet with the visibility of the exterior space and where previously momentum would have been stifled by the closed nature of the furniture; the unbuilding develops a fluidity. From within the interior  

“That one tries to change something that one is obliged to inhabit, since one is not working from the outside. In order to keep one’s effectiveness, one must also preserve those structures – not cut them down completely.”

While Parekowhai’s text purports a three tiered grouping, in a shift away from the marae, I propose a more complex construction – wherein a Maori interior – is made and delineated with narratives that record a looping shift between the city and domestic site. With narratives and forms that are able to build on or collapse spaces that developed so too being formative to off set their limitations and bias. A personal exploration that would see a space mesh together as a small interior space, within a larger ‘Maoriness’ but not an encapsulating context where a sense of being and living Maori would reside as a whole. This process does not intend to develop a conclusive form in either the exegesis or practical component – rather it is a process of becoming complete, that is engendered.

BlackTown Interior

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Gateway fenced off for Americas Cup big screen, 2002. Auckland
Selwyn Muru’s Gateway, 2003. Aotea Square Auckland.

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“Do not look up, Tama. The marae is strung with electric bulbs and black shadows walk with blazing light. If you look up, you will see the faces of grief, every face pale and shrouded in the garments of mourning. You will see your father where he lies on the cold stone and your mother keeping vigil over him this long night. Do not look up. Else you will be lost.”

Here we are then eh! Standing before the central city and an opening Maori interior. Out in the air and of lost location. Here night ascends above and all around us, as we build upon Witi Ihimaera’s text and Tama’s memorial. Dead is the day; and our night, here in heaven’s neon, shines even brighter. An opening, an entry. We’re floating above foot traffic, very slowly over the edge of the road. All noise is muted. We’re just above headline. Up above here there’s an insular feeling of isolation found in fluidity when we move, from exchange to exchange. These transitions become smoothed so much that any notion of inertia when identified within this capitalist milieu is negated for better economy. So much in here, gets easier and easier that even faces of people who’re in the same site pale, and pass us – out of focus. Our memory cedes each face as only a temporal rest before our awe has us lost in the proliferation of the residing language. Gradually we tire, and so too our eyes, so that all becomes a blur and indistinguishable. We enter a space with Witi Ihimaera’s text above, where it’s hung since it was written, a stellar event warning us of impending tragedies and dangers. And we fall into place as witnesses to see night gradually dissipate the capping sky and the street become elevated. 

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Here we see distances close and a realisation emerge that we are all well and good beneath artificial light. A rhythm of neon and fluorescent lights radiate to fill to the borders of our space, tracing a disappearance. Here new interiors are made and hidden. Look around and see gradients slope downward, out of sight. Distances just seem to gradually slip off from the mid plane of passing cars and passing people to sink into the ambience of closed offices and stores. We pass empty alcoves in the forefront, protecting dim forms behind glass. The street level raises, driveways dip between buildings. It is here in this text, that within its loose framework, we could; if you think off in tangents and broad minded-like, explore Maoriness as an implicit and disparate monument within the everyday and banal – and why not? This text is more experimental than it is decisive and certain. In it’s body we can draw in texts to make a Maoriness near and close, a small interior of our own. We can make it that it was nearby where Tama turned away from the lights and include his dilemma to bring on board a historical and intergenerational problematic of isolation and support. It could be these lights that were above him maybe, above and shining an insularity. If he was here, we also know that he was aggrieved, so his head was probably held low. Walking with his eyes low too, scanning over pavement, ‘the cold stone’. Then the source of the Author’s metaphor could have been a smoke thrown down, and sparks scraped up from against the pavement – alight as if new years fireworks. Each discard sounding a ‘Bang! Bang!’ In repetitions, patterns, bulbing outward in icicle perfection from off the pavement. With light stems that fall or fly from each centre – an immersing veil of beautiful white light, with our shadowy figures surrounding. Maybe he turned to lights such as these, that burn out before ever really touching the ground, or that shine without ever generating heat. And he looked round and felt the cold of when you realise that what supported you was impermanent, that we too are of the same ephemeral substance. Though his worries are not quite the same as ours, we only need consider whether or not our time this night will be cut so short by rain, or frozen away. These lights are only ordinary and passing. Simple supports, they are enough to support a good night out on the piss, but not enough for a kid. Tama had support, whanau and all, and from what we know there were structures in place to surround him. He had those who would help to mediate grief. 

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Filling rooms with tiki covering walls with them like wallpaper, proliferating them to excess where as cultural symbols they might emerge and recede becoming a wavering background supplanting banal interior walls. Covering the ceiling with tiki, painted black I’d seen this in my Uncles home. A black ceiling bringing the night nearer into the room, they were quite a religious family and as a kid it made me think that perhaps it was a way to bring god nearer. The effect of having walls that appearing to support nothing, makes the space seem fragile with a feeling of danger, eyes peering over their edges. A fear of being drenched by rain, or gusting winds, it’s a light-headed feeling with the feeling that the space is opened out.

‘One of the bastions of cultural conservatism in the alien environment of the city is the tangi, the mortuary customs for farewelling the dead. The most appropriate place to conduct the rituals of the tangi is the marae’

(Walker 1990:200)

The phone would ring, about four o’clock. Hear it in the early morning. With the lights out, voices carry through the whole house. You know straight away that something is wrong, that someone has died. Notifications like these always have an infrastructure, that’s what they’re for – to initiate a way of speaking over things to mediate them, in order to figure them out and form a collaborative and uniformed response. In the city there is a technological isolation, which threatens such structures. But this is perhaps only a temporary state until the milieu develops new structures as monuments to the point where we can incorporate them seamlessly into our lives. Over time such structures become familiar, they are picked up and their mediums develop as modes of communication that we think about less as foreign or colonising and more simply as the way things are done. But we still have to see their limitations, to see them tested. So we can adjust them, or adjust to them – for cultures are such that they need to examine and change their existing infrastructures in order to mitigate their own failures and collapses.

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Out here, the city is open and expansive; our supports do not function in quite the same way as in Tama’s formation. Ours are portable, but also need a recharging from locations that themselves are dispersed, so we are inculcated into a need to transmit ourselves along. We enter all manner of stores and come out with properties, ingest them or add them all into our collection – inclusive fixes which start to work right where we stand, so that we might suppress the complexities of our immediate situation. These exchanges we imbibe are equalised against the background of an array of commodities. Emerging and off-setting a Maoriness which here is also up for grabs, it is traded and exchanged with any and all types of goods. Maori products like any of the texts here compete for the same space in order to speak themselves and so enter a milieu where they are constantly being measured and their quality assessed. We inhale the grief, support and remedy that such commodities provide, all three in one, burn them away only to prop our selves up for just a little longer, in a drifting dust that is as fine as nebulae. We sit in and around a trafficking of momentums, which are the conditions of maintaining ourselves within the medium of this place – Its superficial texts that hang on the air, floating like opening movie credits posited above store-fronts. Above clubs and food halls open like caves and only tenuously held down. And we are wrapped in them and warmed in the knowing of them – against the chill night, to spark up and smoke in the casing air of roadside seating. Though in this isolation the fragility of our situation grows more and more the focus of mind. And why? Eh! To cling our thoughts to every bit of what might be used to support us would make its increase inevitable. Hell! It works for demons and works for fear, then why not our basic needs, so if we are to envision all that we want, then by some divine intervention it might be manifested. ‘A focused energy, invested and expended, to keep inside all the ever-fleeting energy that is burnt away in limbo. Then we might produce by our will alone, a sense of being safe. However with that there are dangers if we imbrue objects or activities with a fetishistic potentiality to have us metamorphose as beings that would fit so comfortably into the complex interconnections of this urban space then we begin to need them more and more. We are subjected to the blitzkrieg, of colonisations that have us ever inculcated toward a perception of our bodies as the site of an incompletion. That there is some physical transformation necessary before we can become whole, some pill, some illusive product when ingested will have us emerge, metamorphosed as whole – we are cocooned within a consumption. Grosz (1992:248) proposes a model of a negotiated interiority, where connections are made between body and city; Grosz’s ‘mutually defining relationship’ in which the subject is involved in a negotiation between the body and the city, expands to include the notion that in our thinking of the city, the city is also a manifestation of a humanistic thinking of ourselves – in this relationship that she proposes splits and offsets the body against the background of the city, as much as it a joins the two. Her text realises a potentiality to collapse or build realities upon each other, as it is not simply the subject as body that reads and defines space, the space itself also reads and directs the body – It’s a shifting of the body from a position of centrality, which also shifts a sense of control. It seems then that it would be a misinterpretation if we were to think that in an urban space the residing language supports us that in some way it is invested in looking after our best interests. But we know it. We are well aware that in the pushing and pulling of the city that our subsistence on such futile protections is only to make things easier.

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O Aotea, held down only by the sky, and all the possibilities of reaching upward expanses that are held down too by the gravity of your purchase. Each step, each up step – Taken up stairs to levels higher than before is met with the same gravity – grounding us even when we’re high as eh! This here is Aotea Square, but despite that distance we’re sharing the same metaphors as Salman Rushdie used to recreate Gibreel and Chamacha: 

‘Up there in air-space, in that soft, imperceptible field…the place of movement and of war, the planet-shrinker and power-vacuum, most insecure and transitory of zones, illusory, discontinuous, metamorphic, – because when you throw everything up in the air anything becomes possible – wayupthere.’ 

Rushdie (1988:5)

Here Aotea! We are in a gravity of knowing who we are, as wonders in transitions though we are not gonna plummet straight down to the earth – for we can be sure that our feet are planted firmly on the ground. Hell, just the thought makes me sink lower – to try and turn the cobbled stones over with my feet, bury myself down to avoid the impact. Hell! Just look up to that most open of spaces, look up to all that has not yet been colonized by text. You never know when two singing brown men might fall from the sky – to  show us that same high site is a level of freedom. I see a transcendence from things and from supports, but even better than those would be a freedom its from fixed polarities – those solidified cultural identities that are used to push and pull an image of us one way or the other. This would be a freedom like being on Homi Bhabha’s (1994:4) stair but just moving faster: 

The hither and tither of the stairwell, the temporal movement and passage that it allows, prevents identities at either end of it from settling into primordial polarities. The interstitial passage between fixed identifications opens up the possibility of a cultural hybridity that entertains difference without an assumed or imposed hierarchy.”

We’d would be held by a gravity all right, but at such a rate nothing could possibly fix you. All the meanings and memories you once had, that were assigned or freely promoted would simply just fall off of us and we would be reborn inside a text and to a new passage. Without ever having to touch down on the ground at either end. With every dream getting being there, of freedom and it’s metaphor of flying we must also consider falling, hitting the solid earth and lying in the black land. 

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Pania candle. (2002). Wax. K-road.

I explored the construction of shrines, to the excess of the city, elaborate interior spaces built for the housing of Maori texts – as a locus for fetishistic rituals, affirming a sense of cultural unity based on the collection of commodities. A collection of Maori things- souvenir store icons, brought together- for the artifice of the shrine I used furniture. However I felt the metaphor was inappropriate the – the ingestion of collected texts from the exterior brought into the interior of the domestic interior, then into the structure of furniture- thus seemed to express an –ingestion – with the potentiality to only ingest the exterior/outside and to exempt from being active in the reframing of its texts. I found this metaphor inappropriate, so sought to expand upon it.

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I decided to explore further a notion of furniture as a support for the banal and everyday and an economy between this support and the support implict within a sense of cultural inclusivity. Furniture becomes a location of rest, a pause and temporal storage for texts, for things, as an intermediary site while such things are not in use – a site contingent on its relationship with the domestic location. The domestic site in which I live becomes a storage site also, for a living with only fragile borders that separate it from the momentums that are exterior. A door on the street before Upper Queen Street, two windows that a landlord refuses to buy curtains for are large and of a kind used to display wares – so as to implement a separation between public and private I have used two backing boards, one from a wardrobe, the other from a cabinet.

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The chattels are untouched, revered even, bonded fear that they might be damaged.

‘The savage in his cave…feels…at home there…. But the basement apartment of the poor man is a hostile dwelling, ‘an alien, restraining power, which gives itself up to him only insofar as he gives up to it his blood and sweat.’ Such a dwelling can never feel like home, a place where he might at last exclaim, ‘Here I am at home!’ Instead, the poor man finds himself in someone else’s home… someone who daily lies in wait for him and throws him out if he does not pay his rent.’

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Anger management. 2003.Rangituhia Hollis. Queen St Bus stop, Auckland.
Sir Hugh Kawharu  and Bill Clinton “hongi”, (1999). Reuters,  http://www.purenz.com/int/clinton.cfm.

Here a poster for a movie on the side of a bus stop is of two men butting heads in conflict it is an aggressive activity wherein each man attempts to preserve their solidarity in the face of one who might destroy it. A narcissistic confrontation, that asks us to figure out what’s most needed and most sacred. The image reminds me of another, from the meeting of Sir. Hugh Kawhara and Bill Clinton – it is an exemplification of contemporary hegemonic conflict. Does one image have a potential to alter our understanding of the other. A high whine of air breaks. Pick up/drop off. Jarring and shifting plates tremor beneath. Each resounds as a spectre of Napier’s 1931 earthquake. We will all be destroyed and then concurrently all remade, all the same in the most popular of contemporary artifice. Fall into place, awaiting a gallery, as ‘The Link’ between distances. And we could be anywhere. We queue the central city as a track that loops outward then back again into itself. From where we stand we can go out and come back, moving in circles and through spaces that change around us. The sense we have in here is that all changes inevitably return to that state previous to our departing, like going somewhere only to come back, just so that we can step outside of our current ways of seeing to rediscover things we thought of as solid and unchanging. Here we are ready to enter a gallery that operates a queue for our relocation, disappearance then relocation. Jean Baudrillard in his text America, proposes shifting, akin to a blurring and blending of spaces. 

‘The machines themselves, with their fluidity and their automatic transmission, have created a milieu in their own image, a milieu into which you insert yourself gently, which you switch over to as you might switch over to a TV channel.’

Jean Baudrillard (1988:53)

In this way spaces that we inhabit are read as temporal. Their exclusivity becomes contingent on our moving through them and figuring differences and similarities of and between sites. 

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We have animated anxieties still & even when well burnt out – excessive circumstance has concussive memory blank, slated as a dial tone – so nothing left of head can reason, from underneath the cloud; but this body has not reckoned yet. Signals sent to nerves have no recourse & slow twitch, in conversation. ‘No answer? Keep asking.’ – ‘Keep moving.’ So lethargy? – No. Decisions and negotiations forward all at us to a flux. Its state of emergency ‘cause I can’t find no fix.’ Respond to interior notifications, ‘Bus stopping’ in red lights. We also can visualize the exterior yellow of blinking left hand indications. We inside, nearer the locus of exchange are often first notified, first aware – native witness, native information – but if no-one here speaks it, then there’s no discourse present to negotiate this journey. The only evidence perhaps of some re-reading of this space is found in tags, though the tager’s are long absent. Marks made in thick pen – blue, white, red and black – or scratched in glass, into the plastic seats, gestural marks drawn over the threaded and stretched material. Even when these are painted over or sanded away at least there is some evidence that there is potential for things to be negotiated while upon this interstitial passage. These notifications of ownership, or past presence mediate the sense that we are held in the stasis of a limbo – we become aware of a way of articulating in transit. Each mark becomes a ‘second face,’ that Benjamin (1972:418) purposes, enters us into an instance where doubt is raised, when the existing formation of a space is questioned – where we envision ‘an appearance of a superposition, of overlap’. A first face, or appearance that upon revision reveals a second upon further inspection, a parallax perspective revealed as one rethinks and articulates a ‘a counterstatement’ of displacement to offset the first.

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Civic Video, from http//:www.civicvideo.co.nz

Do we sleep soundly, in the shifts of flashing black that lie beneath each segue-way? Or are we awake – in the repetitive concussion of light fluctuations? In these transitions when we are between locations do we await the same televisual notifications of our arrival to better explain where it is that we are? On the top left side of our vision, a translucent green and simply pixelated channel display register resuscitated as if a familiar ghost an apparition hanging before our eyes to notify us of our exchange. It would tell us things. ‘Hey wake up! Here’s your stop’. ‘Don’t forget to thank the driver’. ‘Watch your step’. ‘Civic video’ would appear in the same green text an apparition we would pass under. The image of it would vary little from the sign above the door. Inside the store’s shelves go no higher than head height and the way the texts speak to us changes slightly. Things are clearly explained here, but these texts are also direct propositions to other spaces, incestuous also in that they are inter-referential. Five DVD’s or videos for ten dollars, is a cheap enough of a gateway to get us inside nearly any kind of interior. The whole space is an ever-building archive. It is as if everything real is rapidly being interpreted through the medium of film just so we can interpret it all back and test it against the realities we are familiar with. Maoriness is stored here too – a presence not simply isolated next to Art house films, old Classics and Musicals within a New Zealand section. Maoriness is well embedded in a Diaspora of inter-cultural dispersal, which is much easier to envision in here than the real one happening outside. One can be the metaphor for the other, and it is a plus that we can walk around this one, to figure a sense of it. Right now it would still be possible to demarcate the distances of Maoriness on film, as it is not yet something that has gotten away – being proliferated beyond a potential mapping. The narratives, the characters, actors and all of the elements of the product accrue a language of a Maori space, not only of a people but the limitations of the current capacity of the medium to represent a people. 

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Kapua was not a real place. The essential value of Ngati is that it did not attempt denote any tribe in particular. Both names make accessible a homogenous image of Maori that crosses over a broad spectrum of Maori experiences. It is a generalised interior an amalgam that can be transposed across any rural setting, although as a location Kapua is abstracted past any tangible point of entry. You can’t arrive there by bus, live there, help out the drovers or marry a local. The intent of the film was to develop a somewhat idealised space. That would anchor Maori; by talking directly of a time of social upheaval, where Maori had moved or were moving away from that rural lifestyle on the peripheries of nation – to become themselves, more centralised within the functionality of a capitalist economy, a period of time where pressures saw a cultural drift, the shift that Ranginui Walker (1990) saw as an influence in the reformation of wider whanau groupings into the nuclear family, as it was better suited to survive the demands of the urban or suburban lifestyle. Walker contends that:

“This meant taking permanent employment, coping with a total cash economy in a milieu that had little scope for subsistence activities, and meeting financial commitments by way of rent, time payment, hire  purchase, rates and mortgages. The universal culture of capitalism is what integrates Maori into the social mainstream of Pakeha society.

Ranginui Walker (1990:197-198)

The aspect of support in this sense sees Kapua more than simply a timeless Maori Brigadoon, which returns to being once in every thousand video rentals, or Ngati as more than a fiction of those lost, frozen in a time with no possibility of realising the unfolding present. The movie helps to explain in fairly general terms what discussions and actions were taking place around the time of a mass of Maori urbanisation. Those who relocated in cities and its suburbs, were subsequently relocating their understanding of Maori culture also in the face of a hegemonic pressures – maintaining a cultural solidarity by expanding upon the complexities of a cultural formation to integrate difference and distances into a new sense of space.

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‘That there’s the house…’ my cousin pointed out ‘…from Ngati…it’s where they filmed that sick boy, and where they sung for him and where he died.’ I could barely see the house as waves washed my shoulders and my head bobbed in the water like a crayfish buoy trying to remain afloat.

‘Iri Te Kura too,’ he continued, ‘it was in the film.’ Ah, Iri te Kura I knew better.  That was a place of laughter and food, of aunties and uncles with lollies and cousins to play with and although it was sort of hidden, obscured by rows of pines, I knew where it was ‘cause I had good memories on the marae.

‘And your old mans house, eh.’ He pointed again, ‘Its up on that other hill.’

‘Yea’ yeah, and all eleven of them grew up there in that small house?’

 ‘Yep, all around here.’ Then a big wave came closer; we readied to catch it and were back to swimming.

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These I recall not as images, rather as texts found – I recall family photos, the camera taken from storage: Ours’ had an interchangeable rotating flash, a cube with four working sides, one shot each side.  Each flash was from a set of 6 wrapped in plastic – 24 shots in all loaded with a 24 shot film. The camera would be brought from the wardrobe, behind two sliding doors that had long been broken. You’d have to choose the not so badly broken door, lift it at its base and slide it across. The heavy metal frame would screech and knock into the other door, which hung flapping and often would be knocked off its tracks and derailed. Above all manner of my dad’s work clothes and a throng of metal coat hangers, the camera sat on a shelf, on some boxes. It was not a regular occurrence of course. We were not a family so interested in photography. We would take pictures only it seemed when there were visiting family or long missed friends present, but we shared a common introduction to the process photography, which is one of a staged performative fakeness with regard to the orderly manner in which we line up – to fit inside the frame – and we also a experience a gap, a missing period of time after the ‘taking’, while the transition of images as artefacts are entered into some family archive. Images that carry love with them, a commonplace participle of the exercise and also memories of the surrounding occasion. These are ours, and remain separate from the artefact, as what makes the artefact exclusive.  I remember lining up before the camera, smiling, waving, someone acts the goat, everyone laughs, the photo’s taken. It may not have everyone at their best so another is taken. The camera in an instant temporarily abates all things that are of the banal, that operate daily, that we would be involved in outside this ritual. After each snapshot, with the camera and the ritual of taking photos, and while our image is shifted into an archive – an inclusive process elevates us. The album of this process, explains in part our family history and also touches on other histories that exist in other archives of the same type. A massive glut of related information that has reached a massive volume, a milieu of it’s own through which our realities can be explained. Our part in the process aids in the saturation of photographic and visual culture into our daily lives – and we ourselves become ever inculcated and invested in the success of the archive as a mediator of our history in relation to our present.

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Living room. http//:www.whalerider.co.nz

‘That’s not art you make, it’s souvenirs,’ Said Paka in Whale Rider (2003) with regard to Porourangi’s Art. The room had the whanau in it, sitting on couches and on the carpeted floor. A white sheet hung over a doorway as a make shift screen. The interior’s much more appealing than in this cinema, there are too many people in here and it looks nice and homely there. On the screen a slide carousel, makes a mechanical sound – ‘click clack shift, click clack shift’ – between each image. In the theatre the side arm rests fold up giving everyone the opportunity to stretch out. We can lean into each other and see what Porourangi was up to in Germany, in a fictional realm of artistic endeavour where his art was apparently well received. This is the art he made while he was away from his daughter, the art Paka called souvenirs. ‘Ha! What!’ I said nudging my partner and pointing at the screen…’Hey, It’s all Brett Graham’s’. On screen, and on the screen sheet, we see a series of sculptural works represented as Porourangi’s work. The works are shown in the movie are really Brett Graham’s, for which usage he gets a film credit; Turangawaewae is one of them. We are posited here in an instance where in the production of Maoriness, an existing cultural signifier has been reframed to better support another formation, but does reframing alter the appearance of the original? We must now consider that with this reframing, through the medium of film Graham’s work could be interpreted by some as souvenirs?

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I’d seen Turangawaewae during the exhibition ‘Purangiaho: Seeing clearly’, at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaaki and again at the home of its owner. Inside the house and down a staircase a large gallery sized space opens. In this main room a water feature flows underneath glass at the same level as the floor – a division that divides the room along its centre, a marker that can also be walked over. The two sides of the space are brought together by paintings and sculptures. It is a who’s who of New Zealand Artists, which covers the walls like a catalogue of works straight from an exhibition at the Gallery. Graham’s work was against the far wall – just as in any public gallery where artworks are pushed outward from a centre and fixed, while the central space remains empty. In this space conceiving of a context to unify these works is blurred between domestic and public concerns – complicated when wider implications of the surrounding space are also taken into consideration. In two smaller side areas next to the main space, an old colonial style table displayed Patu, Mere, pendants large in pounamu. In a second space Oceanic masks hung on the wall – two scenes that would usually be behind glass in a museum display. The small spaces seem to tip the larger, making the contemporary works resonate as examples that fulfil an archaeological continuation. It’s only a matter of time before the contemporary will find its way further out, shifted from the central area. This is Art that may not be collected here or in general for its merits but rather for the place that’s taken up by the work in a collection of Maori Artefacts.

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Auckland War memorial museum. (2000) Postcard.

Inside the Auckland Museum, I took in the offerings of Maori artefacts in the frontispiece of the Museum. Walking amidst the dim and light restricted corridors of Oceanic art’s display cases, I entered the permanent ‘Maori treasures’ exhibition. Lending my weight to an arm support that eased my transition between spaces and allowed me to balance awkwardly on a gradient aside a successive series of poutokomanawa. These were carvings that seemed wholly divorced from any functional context I had ever seen them in before. The black matte steel supports and similarly painted shelves upon which the carvings were rested, seemed in essence to allude to the linear vertical lines of Hotere or perhaps posterised outlines of textural cloak weaves. There was in evidence some degree of effort on the part of the museum to present the traditional with the neo-traditional or contemporary as a progressing continuum of thought. However the contextual allusion appeared to direct itself better toward the temporary housing qualities of a social welfare home or prison interior. I was standing there, aware of their detachment from their previous lives, realising that they bared little semblance to functional participles of traditional Maori ideology, that supposedly there were objective museum directives were at work, when I recognised an example of Ngati Porou carving. Identified by the form of the eyes, and confirmed by a supplicant title to be from my own Iwi. This is where I noted that anyone intending to look at the carvings would have to stand in the same lop sided stance that I was in, in order to view what in my understanding is a symbol of my own Maori identity. It seems almost surreal now but as I was thinking this, a couple of generic American tourists laden with gift shop plastic bags and wearing baseball caps trundled down the slope. They didn’t look at the carving that I had by now identified with, which pissed me off somewhat and I remember raising a discerning eyebrow at them as they waddled off in a centripetal direction toward the wharenui. At this point I realised that in an instant I had accepted how the carvings were displayed, associated my own history with the example provided and wanted some degree of reciprocated validation of its value, from these representatives from America. I’d fallen into the trap that the museum has for the naive viewer – the false impression that it offers more than just a contrived fakeness, of the position of a people.  Reading truth into this space reveals a people eclipsed by colonialism. With their artefacts left in fragmented debris for curators to aggrandise the auspices of museums, but maybe that is just one way that colonisations work. With subtle changes in a context to alter the meaning of the texts it supports, then after a little while you begin to forget the change and take things for granted. And think that this is the way it was, or is or should be.

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Hikurangi Pa. (2001) Rangituhia Hollis. Napier.
Bridge 1. (2003) Rangituhia Hollis. Grafton, Auckland.
Otatara palisades. (2001) Rangituhia Hollis. Napier.
Bridge 2. (2003) Rangituhia Hollis. Grafton, Auckland.
Otatara palisades collapsed. (2001) Rangituhia Hollis. Napier.
Bridge 3. (2003) Rangituhia Hollis. Grafton, Auckland.
Otatara palisades 2. (2001) Rangituhia Hollis. Napier.
Bridge 4. (2003) Rangituhia Hollis. Grafton, Auckland.

Outside, the bridge possesses a calm, which I feel in the cool breeze as it blows down to the port. A gully overflows with roads hedged by trees to dissipate noise appears as if still.  Everything passes over the road. Its five lanes, three on one side two on the other of a central barrier, are far below the dotted white line beside the pavement of the bridge and unseen, somewhere underneath me, both ascending and descending flows pass at a point I have to imagine. The bridge is a point of departure. As I cross over the traffic, I am reminded of another gully one much smaller than this one. I could almost be stepping out through the low window of the studio at Otatara that I had for a time. Then at once I’m at home in Hawke’s Bay alongside the building where I worked, but mostly sat on the window sill smoking. A hillock that jutted up against the old stable building, and led down the side of a hill. Over a stock fence and into the middle of the gully, a central point marked by a very sad excuse for a wire fence and a pile of old rotting fence posts haphazardly covered the ground with corrugated iron sheets that lay discarded beneath. This mess separated two sides of the same hill from each other. Further up the slope under the shade of forestry pines whose rows mark the ascending walk like contour lines. Walking becomes difficult climbing, and its necessary to tentatively fumble along the ground to make sure you don’t fall into a tangle of blackberries or piles of sticks hidden in the long grass. The pines stop abruptly at another sturdier fence where paddocks stretch up a steep incline. Over the fence sheep graze in and around Otatara pa and its storage pits, deep depressions sinking into the ground, usual signs of a pa. The gradual steppes scarred with black shadows look carved into the hill, appearing monolithic as if the inversion of a massive amphitheatre – these steppes signal that fortifications once protected the hill. The only protections here now are stock fences, which bind and demarcate the rural landscape mapping it as property. In such a way that sections of the same piece of land may become divided and new interior formations made. Fence posts are symbolic as structures of a colonisation of space, as markers between interiors they are witness to the coexistence of opposing and alike cultural beliefs – while also visually creating these spaces of ambivalence. Otatara Pa was carved into again, but later. The riverside lost its edge to Springfield Rd – as it was carved away from beneath. You can stand up top and see the road that has cut through its side. The cliff drops straight down – like the bridge you can look down and see the traffic beneath, but here you also see a gaping hole that was made years ago by the old Redcliffe quarry. If that quarry hadn’t been closed down and shifted across the River to scrape the riverbed there, then whole hill might have been eaten away. 

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Otatara remade, main posts buried into the ground, supporting two levels of horizontal poles – one at head height the other at knee level. These posts in turn support a barricade of freestanding poles – the texture of which resounds as an implicit evidence of an element of the Pa’s construction. The wood used having not been stripped of bark or painted – left just as found. To develop walls, though not so solid, but a simple and thin mesh of wood – that lets more light through than it would keep people out. In places gaps are wide enough to step through and sections have also collapsed due to disrepair. The fencing wire used to weave the poles together has met its redundancy, and the ‘U’ shaped nails affixed to the poles have allowed the fences to slide from an upright position. The structure is a simulation of a Pa – more symbolic as a presence on the hill than an example of how a Pa would have previously been constructed. Here there is a being inside and a protection therein. You can look down the gravel road and imagine the defensibility of the site. There is a visiting of the site – where the Pa is explained by Department of Conservation signage, with this introduction you enter the Pa while on a Sunday walk. There is also a seeing from a distance, I could see the Pa up on the hill from my house – iconic and ominous, emblematic of juxtaposition between the Pa and the surrounding suburbs – flash houses on the hill and empty Pa, somewhere else there would be a displaced people.

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The windows open. Air cycles through from the drivers side. Cool air blows over my forehead. The other window is closed. The sound of wind consistently from the right causes my left ear to pop. A high and shrill pitch, it stays this way for a while after the windows’ closed. The winds wound away with the handle and closes off making a stifled sound like a gasp. A temporary silence, images an emptiness that is filled as soon as we become aware of the sound of the engine. Its centralising drive fixes things for a time then fades. It sinks into an ambience – out of focus. This is a type of silence that we mediate. The radio is turned on – stations emerge from a silence as those that are particular to the region. Just half an hour one way or the other and our cities trail into suburbs, then into some semblance of a rural location. But these stations soon lose frequency, their connection to a centre seizes – when they are outside of coverage areas or each time the car sinks with the road, behind a hill – It’ll happen through these ranges. The soundtrack, which makes trips seamless, is bound to trip and collapse. The radio’s feed will cut out. But it’s all right though, its anticipated – our traffic must at times breakdown, murmur in segue way, have the circulative failure & collapse. This is when we become concerned with our transitions. Is it all it could be? We have to think about whether or not its comfortable any more, now that we’ve become aware our current distance. Hell we know we’re in a limbo, but we also know it’s just a temporal transition before we emerge elsewhere.

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Tiki. (2000). Plastic. 

A couple who’re seated on fold out stools are selling pendants on the street. Cultural identities are arranged on four large boards, full of greenstone and bone carvings. Looking through there were the usual, fishhooks and manaia, but a carved Nike logo stood out, more than the others, as it irked me. It didn’t live up to the clean image I had seen I don’t know how many times. It’s imperfection is evidence of a human effort that in the medium of bone could not replicate the pure plastic form of the swoosh. With a flecked and creamy inconsistent colour its edges flowed in and outside of the correct lines of the Nike template. It looked chunky almost fat, tapering with incongruent lines to a point. This copy without the same detail becomes an example of how the form of such a highly visible image becomes fixed in memory. I could draw it and redraw it again and again, until I had it perfectly rendered, but what of those tiki and hooks – what can be made of their authenticity. Where is their original form? Perhaps it’s better to ask why is it that the forms of these Tiki and Manaia appear unified into a background. Is there ever an original or standard form, for a fishhook or tiki? The tiki is used to communicate but neither the symbol nor its meaning have an owner. Whereas with the Nike logo the stakes are high so there’s less being risked. We witness the decisive implementation of a strategy that asks only that its image is repeated ad infinitum – an image that becomes so familiar that it becomes an addition to the language here, the more recognisable the image is the more successful the image is, it no longer matters what’s being said. 

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‘Hi, I need this key cut, thanks.’  I’m looking for my eftpos card. The guys talking, I half miss what he’s said ‘Eh?’ He repeats again, and gives up – but it sinks in just a bit later that he asked whether or not ‘I had the original?’ I reply,

‘Nah, I don’t…do I need it?’ I lose concentration, I’m more interested in getting a lighter that are inside the glass counter – a silver coloured Zippo. He’s talking and seems interested in what he’s saying,

‘You see an original key would have a manufactures’ name on it over here, this is a copy.’

‘Yeah that’s a key to my flat it’s been copied heaps…does it matter?’

‘No, it shouldn’t, but the key when its’ copied too much ends up not fitting, it gets to be too different from the original.’ 

‘So it may not work.’

‘Yeah, if that happens bring in the original and I’ll copy it again for you.’ 

You better copy it, dude can’t even copy a key. God knows how many keys have been lost, or exchanged between flatmates. Maybe I won’t be able to get inside.

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Down the street the pavements are full. Store alcoves are breathing people. Mid day, mid city, mid week and those who are in strings following and leading, mix in two general directions. There are those who are going uphill and those down. Seated here it seems that with people going this way and that, that there’s a cancelling out. You can lean back and watch as all their imperatives float past. There is a pushing and pulling of meaning in the city, which manifests clearer at times than at others – at times when reading this city we get shifted into a space that by its very nature has the limitations of its capacity and its boundaries unravelled. This happens and we may have our understandings of things re-spun, our connecting threads reworked and forever reworked. We must anticipate that readings are inconclusive, that everything in our review is formative, such as our senses of space, of people and objects. People here walk past and this potential to remake things floats by with them. It’s potential is one to expand on our current readings, to get our formation of the truth of a subject or object, or our identity, but most importantly our articulations of identities ever nearer to the universal – while we ourselves remain aware that our sense of this universal will never be manifested, that this pursuit is just to tie things together in a way that placates our sense of our reality for a time. 

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An interior of a Queen St Mall, a thoroughfare to Albert St.  Asian style toys in a window – Ominous, big eyed and furry soft toys that all look like Mogwai. Spinning plastic and electric light box toys. Miniaturised clubbing lights shrunk for home use. Tagged at $9.95, no guarantee, no refund, and no exchange. ‘Plastic robots in a model form, glue them together, paint them, display them’. Miniature simulacra of a non-existent life size original are all equalised by a price of $17.95. Cell phone covers stacked in equidistant rows and columns make a comforting balance. The simplicity of such symmetry has us reassured with the ubiquitous order of the grid. We walk past those whose heads are down and texting. Cell phones are a cultural milieu that to be active in, you need to be distant from each other. Internet cafés bring people into an interior of potential interconnection. I sit down to wait for a bit. And look across to the disconnected eyes of a man selling the Herald. He stands aside a yellow steel rack, slumped over a half open paper. His face is drawn, his eyes stare out blankly. He’s barely staying upright, the paper in his hands is obscured he’s slowly fading out. Someone needs to buy a paper, to bring this herald guy back into the world. His current stance seems little different to that of a one armed busker, who stands a little further down the street in a frieze. If you give the busker change he moves in slow robotic gestures. Further down the day’s tensions are already shaking one guy. He’s a distance away and looks like he’s made of heat waves from off the road. He appears part mirage part regular. He nears and takes a seat beside me, leaning inward. His hand out, it’s a demonstrative greeting, a closed hand turned open. He asks

‘Hey do you have a fit?’

‘Eh?’ 

‘Do you have a fit?’

‘Sorry I have no idea what you mean.’

‘You’re not alone in that mate. No one knows. A needle, a fit, shit! I’ve got the junk but no way to shovel it in.’

‘How bout a chemist.’

‘Yeah – but even if you beg they’ll only sell them to you. I heard there’s a place in the city, but fucked if I know where that is.’

‘How much is that? I can barely afford smokes’

‘Expensive. It’s a buzz. Real feel no pain stuff. Real float around relaxed – I need a needle…’ He stands up, ‘…I hate holding.’

He’s gone. I sit wondering, why’d he ask me? This type of instance sees places metamorphose. You just need to look up to see the Sky tower standing obviously phallic, an apparition of excess and an impossible transcendence, but now it appears to also take on the symbolic potency of a hypodermic needle. 

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Church and Skycity. (2001) Albert Street, Auckland.
Pou Wairua. (1996). Nicholas Thomas. Thames and Hudson, London.

Inside the casino’s entrance, Lyonel Grants’ work is displayed in a confused space. A waka leant to match the verticality of the building. If you go up to the information desk they hand out A5 sized photocopies explaining the work, but they call it Mahi Whakairo, or carving. However Thomas (1999:231) annotates the work with the title Pou Wairua. In the handout it is read as an interpretation of the separation story of Rangi and Papa, which itself was an opening out of space. Here the space opens to row upon row of pokie machines, which turn to blackjack tables. Above these tables posters present an ecstatic images of those who’re experiencing that high. Excitement and joy, along with beauty and youth are the projected images and are what fixate and fascinate us in this space. But below these posters we can see the reality, that there is just a general sadness here. This place might give you a shot in the arm, but it is also ‘Danger! Danger!’ This waka is cut with gambling and alcoholism and Maoriness is a greeter pushed out in front by shadowy figures to say kiaora to the crowds. The site seems to profess itself as a cultural locus but is more of a cultural home bake, where the purity of the cultural products that we ingest must necessarily be questioned. It is potentially dangerous even, if we misread the work and get ourselves swept away by the warm welcome. We might later realise that the interior we desired and it’s ‘Maoriness’ was just a lead in segue way to make us feel more comfortable about becoming hooked, to invite us in with a smile and a handshake before we can realise the trade off – that we had given up making our cultural identity something that we live in, in favour of it being something produced for us and available that we might cling to it for support. 

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It’s been dark for hours. In the back seat, us kids are too small to see out the front. The roads old, the road’s near empty. & The car shakes on every turn. Revs up and down, with the changing gears. Its only when a car passes – and hi-beams off – that, for a short time we can see each other in the car. Otherwise this is a darkness seems like its not going anywhere. Black sky with a darker tree line. In the back my sisters asleep and I’ve woken somewhere in the darkness. I’ve been watching power lines out the window for a while. They follow the road, but seem to follow the car too. They look like guitar strings being strummed. Cartoon like though, and drawn by a hand I can’t quite see in the distance. Quickly drawn changes, between four strings, five, down to one or two. Rising up, above the window. Flicking past like an old film. Angles change, the camera zooms in and out. The lines, move with the road. We feel the car rise and fall and the lines with us. At times I lose them in the darkness. Seeing only two flat planes of black moving against each other, tress before the sky. Then, I look again and the lines have returned. A soundtrack felt in vibrations inside the car. I rest my head against the window, and feel its song in my head. It’s the sound of the road and of moving. A singing of nearing the next place. Where it’ll be bright, and we can stand and walk, sit at the table or sleep on the floor in front of the TV in our house.

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I recall that as a kid I’d listen to the waves turn over, in the house on the wooden floor – lying in a sleeping bag on a foam mattress. I remember half listening half trying to sleep. The sound covers in its regular wakes. Sounds as if it could be passing cars. Earlier on my cousin and I had slept too long on the beach. We woke dazed with heat stroke. Knowing we were in for a few days of moving slow and also a few weeks of peeling – we had one more swim before the burning set in, then we headed up the road, over the sand and its gradient change, wet sand to dry. Black and cool, to pale and hot, whitish soft sand that curls over feet and burns the pale top. Walking through long grasses dried and bleached white. Arms aside. Legs making, following paths, fingertips through long grass, brittle and rustling. I remember cicada’s loud, like planes overhead but hidden from sight. Noise from every direction. A heavy weighted sound, intense from the pine trees lining the beach. A gravity that adds its’ weight to sunburnt shoulders. Step down onto the gravel road. I can picture the graveyard. Green two litre soft drink bottles filled up by a tap near the gate. A small space family plot out the front of the Marae. It’s where my Grandparents are buried. The last time I was there. My cousins, sister and I repainted the grave. Both of them are buried side by side. We all took turns, all of us sunburnt brushing white paint over a long concrete slab, in front of the head stone. Sand and dirt are turned over, specks of black in white. Grit that’s painted over to a point that it disappears. Everything’s turned white. On TV, during flashbacks things always fade white, or to black and white, they become historical as memories that insulate a sense of a space, they line it and they protect it while they also are the signal of its limitation as what has gone and forever gone. I was told a story about that site – that as a baby I was lost for quite sometime. A story of my having run off while all heads were turned. My family were worried and out looking – they found me later, I was asleep and safe. They picked me up from where they found me, up from off of the grave of my Grandmother, Mereana Rangituhia Rangiuaia – from in front of her head stone. She died in April 1977 and I carry a name from her though we never met. Rangituhia – The day it was written. I don’t remember that day, but I know that story, that my mother told me. It’s the closest I have to a memory of her.  That day my Auntie was worried. She said, ‘You’ve got to watch that one.’ To her, finding me there was an ominous sign. She was worried I’d be taken. That Nanny would try to take one of her moko with her.

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Next door an office is being renovated. The building stripped out and a new interior is slowly being remade. The workers start about 7 am. My girlfriend leaves for work about the same time. I hear the shower. I hear doors opening and feet along the hallway. Hammering starts outside while she dresses. Crashing sounds thud away. Voices outside the window talk in a language I’m unsure of. I fall back to sleep. Then am woken by the sound scrap wood being thrown off of a first floor level onto the concrete. It could have been going for a while. Get up to have a smoke. Turn on the lights, real light only enters this flat for only a short time in the morning, so I’ve become accustomed to artificial, after a while you can forget the time, it all seems to blend. I sit outside on the step, across the road, an old flat with a half circle window is empty, it’s been renovated and remade, available now, to lease to businesses. Further up behind that office there’s a house with a balcony and a low stone fence which is put together with volcanic rock, held together with cement. Check the mail. A tarp hangs covering the frontispiece of the building. Next door the front wall has been removed and the space opened out. Behind the edges of that tarp you can see the back wall. A mesh of wooden frames ready for gib sheets stretch from front to back marking where the interior rooms will end up. Bricks that have only about a tenth of the depth of ordinary bricks are being stuck onto the outside of masonry blocks. Slowly the appearance of the building is changing. In the city, if you’re here for any extended period of time you begin to see this developing as stock. Of course it happens everywhere but here its just a little faster, more concentrated and localised. An apartment block goes up quick. Another ones half finished by the time it’s done. Old and redundant buildings are shelled out and flattened. Down the round a Masons hall was levelled. I used to walk by it I’d never seen it open I had wondered what secret rituals might take place there. One day in passing I noticed a yellow caution tape appeared out front stretched across the front doors. Then the doors were gone. Followed by the roof and its tower. Stacks of wood were sorted out into sizes for recycling and laid sideways behind a wire fence. Then the walls went. And all of that was pushed and piled into a mound in the centre of the section. They were gone later. Just an empty section remaining, one that will be used for public parking, until another construction is commenced.

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These boards still posses traces of their history; found in hinges, locks, and handles and to varying degrees in their semblances to their previous forms. These elements possess connections to a memory of their previous forms – previous to their dismantling, and previous to us finding them in stores and living with them. Furniture is a support for the banal and everyday, as it all comes to rest within a domestic interior. But as furniture, is dismantled and rested to lean against the wall it becomes redundant as a support, ‘for what can you do, lay pieces of wood on the floor?’ Rest the contents of drawers on the floor with them. Clothes and books left strewn around on the floor also. 

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Joining, hinges attachments between boards, a small amount of movement, a pivot, a turning and linking. A connection made, a closeness made between elements. The hinge works to precipitate an opening and closing – so here enables an implicit potentiality for this open formation to become closed, in part or parts, or in whole. Folded onto or into itself, with interior spaces as hidden of safe sites remade.

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The wall is a support, a borrowed strength and stability resides there – utilised by these boards to support their formation. It stretches from the front wall to the back, from the lounge to the far end of the hall, past the open kitchen and bathroom to end at bedroom doors. Elements hinges, layers- the building outside, brick artifice over masonry blocks – mediations of the momentums of the exterior space.

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Having no storage; in the form of furniture, my clothes, books & papers have become a shifting texture of things. The single wardrobe, like a mouth that ingests and vomits junk; the things collected in my transitions are driven back inside to make space – driven also to unused peripheries that build up with junk, which soon also collect into temporal monuments of the denial of the relevance of those things in any practical application, but just as an obstacle to any transition. Elements are shuffled aside, moved aside to edges, where true corners are filled making new corners. These things require a moving and re-moving, as all seems to gravitate to toward the centrality of the transitional space – so that transitions can function. These are monuments of junk that refuse to be denied although these things need to be relocated. Only they, build up in the corners again only to sink back again, and impinge on transition. Objects of memory that can’t be escaped from by momentum and here I am well in this medium of junk that as an evidence of history is well haunted by its own proliferation. Memory is brought forward & brings itself as history ever closer as a problematic that must be engaged with in any negotiation of the present, a present that threatens too quickly to enter the same storage all into an ever building archive of junk.

When they are aligned – flattened to the wall they become homogenised, in that it becomes unclear as to how exactly the formation of elements would have manifested originally.

Notes.

On a poster inside the bus its destinations are listed in a circling diagram. Arrows turn clockwise or anti-clockwise; beginning at K-road the list continues…Myers Park, Library, AUT, University, Sheraton, Auckland Hospital, 277 Newmarket, Broadway Newmarket, Parnell, Railway station, QE square, Mid Queen St, Sky City, Victoria Park, Ponsonby Road. The arrows explain how the order of stops are affected, this order changes depending on which way you’re heading.

References.

Barr, M. and J. (1999) The indefinite article: Micheal Parekowhai’s riff on representation. In. Art AsiaPacific issue 23. Sydney: Fine Arts press.

Baudrillard, J. (1982) America. Trans C, Turner. London: Verso Books

Benjamin, W. (1999) The Arcades Project. Trans, H, Eiland and K, Mclaughlin. United States of America: HarvardUniversity Press.

Bhabha, H. K. (1994) The location of culture. London: Routledge.

Catalogue. (2001). Purangiaho, seeing clearly: casting light on the legacy of tradition in contemporary Maori art. Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki.

Chruchill, W. (1998, Jan 5). water: Interview w/ Ward Churchill re genocide in Canada. Bulldozer magazine, 2: Toronto.

Grosz, E. (1992) Bodies-Cities. In Sexuality and Space. New York: Princeton Architectural press.

Heim, O. and Zimmermann, A. (1992) Hu(l)man Medi(t)ations: Inter-Cultural Explorations in Keri Hulme’s The Windeater/TeKaihau. In. Australian and New Zealand Studies in Canada. Volume 8

Ihimaera, W. (1972) Pounamu, Pounamu. Auckland: Hienmann Publishers.

Ihimaera, W. (1973) Tangi. Auckland: Hienmann Publishers.

Marx,K. (1932) Der historische Materialismus. In, Benjamin, W. (1999) The Arcades Project. Trans, H, Eiland and K, Mclaughlin. United States of America: HarvardUniversity Press.

Mills, I.L. (1999). What’s in a name: A history of the streets of Napier. Napier: Brebner print.

Rushdie, S. (1988). The Satanic Verses. United Kingdom: Vintage.

Thomas, N. (1999). Possessions: Indigenous Art / Colonial Culture, London: Thames and Hudson.

Walker, R. (1990). Ka whawhai tonu matou: Struggle without end. Auckland: Penguin books.