Supported using public funding by Arts Council England and British Council via the Artists International Development Fund.
This three-week research project is co-hosted by Auckland War Memorial Museum and The University of Auckland. Joshua Sofaer will be working towards researching a new body of participative performance informed by the long history of pre-colonial performance in Maori visual culture. The project involves both archival and collaborative research, working with both artists and the local population through workshops and discussion.
The research is two-fold:
• to understand the importance of live art and performance in pre-colonial Maori visual cultures.
• to consider the relevance of participative performance in contemporary Maori society.
A starting point for the research will be to consider the pōwhiri (welcoming ceremony), pepeha (statement of ancestry and belonging), and haka (war cry and celebratory). This is not an anthropological study or an attempt to appropriate Maori rituals as the ‘stuff’ of new performance. Rather it is a way of thinking about the power of the performative in Maori culture and to consider what implications that might have for how to think about participatory relations in performance.