September 2013

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December 2011

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Göttingen Visit
25- 27 July 2011

Arawa visitors in Cambridge

June 2011

Cook collections: research breakthrough at the British Museum

Cook First Voyage collections: research visit to the Pitt Rivers Museum

Ngai Tamanuhiri in Cambridge

September 2010

Sainsbury Research Unit collaboration

Funding excellence

August 2010

Pacific Arts Association Xth International Symposium

DiSCO Workshop

July 2010

Research seminar: Digital Subjects, Cultural Objects

June 2010

Introductory talk for TATAU: Symmetry, Harmony and Beauty

MAA hosts Semisi Fetokai Potauaine

EXHIBITION – Tatau: Samoan Tattooing / Global Culture

January 2010

Visit to Uawa




News

The Power of the Pacific, European Society for Oceanists (ESfO)
Maia Nuku, Bergen, Norway, 5– 8 December 2012

Professor Nicholas Thomas and artist George Nuku in conversation.
Photo: Mike Poltorak

Professor Nicholas Thomas gives plenary lecture ‘Out of Place: History and Art in the Pacific.
Photo: Mike Poltorak

Vilsoni Hereniko launches the new publication ‘Art in Oceania’ in front of George Nuku’s installation.
Photo: Mike Poltorak

George Nuku’s carved cube.
Photo: George Nuku

Members of the project team, including Professor Nicholas Thomas, joined colleagues from the Fijian Art project (also based at MAA) in a museum panel to discuss the ‘Power of the Pacific in European Museums’ at a meeting of the European Society for Oceanists (ESfO) held in Bergen, Norway, in December 2012. The conference was hosted by the University of Bergen’s Pacific Studies group, Department of Social Anthropology and Bergen University Museum.

Project Affiliated Researcher Professor Dame Anne Salmond (Distinguished Professor of Maori Studies and Anthropology, University of Auckland) opened the conference with a plenary lecture entitled ‘Tears of Rangi: water, power and people in New Zealand’ which took the vital resource of fresh water in Aoteaora as a case study with which to explore and reflect upon the capacity of the Pacific to foster ontological innovation. The following day, Professor Vilsoni Hereniko (Acting Chair of the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, and Adjunct Professor of Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific) gave the Raymond Firth Memorial Lecture: ‘Restoring the Human to the Native Object’ in which he urged the gathered academics and consultants to allow a space for poetry in all their respective endeavours.

Later that evening, Professor Nicholas Thomas was joined by artist-in-residence George Nuku, who presented a series of artworks he had created in Bergen that same week. Inspired by the ice, snow and light, Norse history, the oil and whales of the surrounding land- and seascape, Nuku installed a large carved cube and panels as a personal response to the power of the Pacific and its vital legacy in the 21st century.

Professor Nicholas Thomas (project PI and Director, MAA) gave a plenary lecture the following morning entitled ‘Out of Place: History and Art in the Pacific’, which explored how cross-cultural encounter has been imagined and re-imagined through the art of the region, drawing on examples from the late 18th to the early 20th century and the legacies of those encounters today. This was an opportunity to launch the newly published Thames & Hudson volume Art in Oceania: A New History (Peter Brunt et al.) (2012) which he helped edit—a multi-authored collaboration between anthropologists, art historians and curators of Pacific arts. The product of years of engagement with communities across the Pacific, as well as research in the collections of dozens of museums, the book reinterprets icons and lesser known examples of Oceanic art in the context of the colonial encounters that shaped them, and brings the story of Oceania’s modernisms into view as part of contemporary history.