WHAT COLOUR IS THE SACRED // UNION // MIC TOI REREHIKO // 2010
This work responds to Michael Taussig’s interest in magic and surrealism, and his statement that “Colors illuminate the backdrop of myths, and force the object to release hidden meanings, meanings that are neither complete nor lasting, to be sure, but that can gesture, ever so obliquely, to truths that remain otherwise concealed”.
The audience was asked to participate in creating a new artwork through the medium of exchange. In the form of an offering, experience, story, or service for one of the wax works presented. In addition, the artist requested the audience detail which sculpture and colour you chose and why on one of the postcards provided, to document the exchange the postcards were turned into a book. Participants were asked make a considered decision as the exchange itself is the work of art. The work remained intact for the first week of the show, so that the participants could appreciate that they are individual caretakers of the components of one work. Therefore through the process of exchange participants became inherently connected to one another. What Colour Is The Sacred? draws heavily on the language of alchemy and transformation. The interactive component is grounded in the notion of philosophical anthropology, the interconnectedness of belief systems, and the concept of value. Through an interest in religious tradition and what these traditions can offer to the strengthening of communities here, What Colour Is The Sacred? hopes to explore individual, social and cultural attitudes. It forms a case study in which interaction, through the practice of bartering, becomes a part of social memory, means of story telling and a vehicle for information sharing. The work is an attempt to transcend a purely economic realm through meaning, a concept first suggested by socialists Marcel Mauss and Max Weber. The exploration of these ideas is based around barter in relation to globalising factors, with political relevance to treaties such as the Free Trade Agreement.