Art and Biculturalism: Innovative Maori Meeting Houses and the Settler Nation

Authors

  • Daniel Rosenblatt


Abstract

Two recent carved Maori meeting houses, one in a museum and the other on a polytech campus, manage to break down the boundaries between “contemporary” and “traditional” Maori art. Both houses also attempt to represent the whole of the institutions of which they are a part rather than only the Maori members of those institutions. This article argues that these innovations are connected, and that they reflect and help propagate a larger refiguring of the meaning of “biculturalism” in the settler state of New Zealand. As part of looking at the significance and effects of these houses, the article draws on ideas about genre and artistic practice to make an argument about how cultural and political change happens.

Ancillary