Tall Stories: Cannibal Forks

15 September – October 31 2010

This was the first version of the artwork, ‘Tall Stories: Cannibal Forks’ on display in the Maudslay Gallery next to the Fiji cabinet as an intervention into the museum’s displays. The artwork comprised 26 new cannibal forks made by colleagues at the museum using traditional European green wood carving techniques and British woods plus an 8min video shown on an old generation emac. The video showed a number of cannibal forks being made, progressing from tree branch to finished detail while the audio track juxtaposed the various stories (knowledge) of different people working at the museum about historical Fijian cannibal fork construction and usage.

25 May 2012 – 2 March 2013

The second version of the artwork included the cannibal forks made at ‘Cannibal Forking’ events which had been accessioned by the Museum. As a stand-alone artwork (as opposed to an intervention which has its immediate context as part of its interpretation), this version included all the available historical ‘cannibal forks’ in the collection and all the newly created cannibal forks plus the video projected onto the wall of the vitrine. In addition, each artefact was labelled, using a Dymo traditional embossed label-maker, with the name of the collector or the maker, the origin of the artefact, its material and its accession number.

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