Mother’s Ruin: Refracting the imperial gaze

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Authors
Lowe, Neil
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Degree
Master of Fine Arts
Grantor
Otago Polytechnic
Date
2023
Supervisors
Schmidt, Leoni
Eady, Scott
Green, David
Type
Masters Dissertation
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
Dunedin (N.Z.)
New Zealand
installation art
post-colonialism
architectural decay
philosophy of art
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
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 (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts).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
Abstract
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.
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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