The Eternals (trapped in the dream of the other)
ATA: An Exhibition of Contemporary Samoan Art
The Harris Gallery of the University of La Verne, California
April 28 – May 24, 2012

The Eternals started with images of tribal objects as source material for paintings, but over time, it became clear to me that the photographs were taking on a life of their own. It begins at the house of culture and shadows, the Museum. With a digital camera in hand I walked through the low-lit wings of the Auckland, Waikato and Otago Museums taking photographs of various tribal objects including spirit dolls, decorative shields, pestles and kava bowls. The gloomy museum environment impacted on the composition of the works intensifying accidental anomalies such as reflective glare, shadows and flaring that you could associate with ‘amateur’ photography. However, I believe these slippages instil a sense of mystery to these objects, recalling how they were once perceived in ancient times with awe and dread. As cultural fragments they no longer emanate with the power of the Old world, but are historically aestheticized as objects of the New; and once “you’re trapped in the dream of the other”, as Deleuze so eloquently puts it, “you’re fucked”.