Mother’s Ruin: Refracting the imperial gaze
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Citation:Lowe, N. (2023). Mother’s ruin: Refracting the imperial gaze. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts). Otago Polytechnic | Te Pūkenga, New Zealand. https://doi.org/10.34074/thes.6191
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/6191
By considering the histories of a colonial object on the Taieri Plain in New Zealand, this text invites readers to critically examine dominant narratives and envision alternative ways of perceiving the world. The text emphasises the importance of exploring the socio-political and economic processes that shape our experiences. It also acknowledges the contested nature of our multicultural and postcolonial realities, recognising the author’s position within the research. Situated knowledges, as proposed by Donna Haraway, become a guiding principle for understanding diverse perspectives without falling into relativism. The author then invites us to think with Slavoj Žižek and Ann Stoler about ideology, violence and imperial debris. With Žižek, we consider the operation of ideology and violence. With Ann Stoler's concept of imperial debris and ruination, we expand our gaze beyond physical structures to the effects of colonial legacies that shape contemporary realities. These ideas are then distilled into a visual lexicon of images that are transformed through layering, accumulation and juxtaposition, deploying water, space, light, shatter, digitisation, glitch and reflection in an attempt to refract the imperial gaze.
Keywords:Dunedin (N.Z.), New Zealand, installation art, post-colonialism, architectural decay, philosophy of art
ANZSRC Field of Research:360602 Fine arts, 470213 Postcolonial studies
Degree:Master of Fine Arts, Otago Polytechnic
Supervisors:Schmidt, Leoni; Eady, Scott; Green, David
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