Dance of the seven veils brings together recent photographs and video works centred on the figure of ‘Salome’ – a fictitious character Kihara has been performing since 2002. ‘Salome’ is inspired by a photograph entitled Samoan Halfcaste (1886) taken by NZ photographer Thomas Andrew; and references a play written by Oscar Wilde. Kihara employs the Samoan dance of taualuga as a medium and mode of artistic enquiry into the postcolonial present.
A representative of a colonial past and conscious of the misrepresentations of Indigenous — specifically Samoan — people and cultures. This representation is manifested primarily through her dress, which has constructed a new identity for Salome – an identity that contradicts Western notions of the Pacific– but upon closer inspection it is an identity that accurately reflects on Samoan society, history and culture. By looking at the black Victorian mourning dress in European and Pacific history and art history, Samantha’s presentation will show not only that Salome is the result of an interesting intersection across space and time but that she is also an especially powerful and critical artistic reflection of the Pacific.
Kihara’s work was presented at Asia Pacific Triennial; Auckland Triennial and the Sakahàn Quinquennial. Her work is held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. was presented at Asia Pacific Triennial; Auckland Triennial and the Sakahàn Quinquennial. Her work is held in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’
Now – 22 June 2014
Corban Estate Arts Centre
2 Mt Lebanon Lane
PO BOX 21 526
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