Inez Crawford

Bouncy Marae

4 October 2008 - 2 November 2008

There is something wondrous and compelling about this chocolate brown and candy floss pink centred ‘Bouncy Castle’. Inez Crawford manages with Bouncy Marae,to take one of the most sacred and unique Maori architectural and social domains and transform it into a refreshingly playful and potent place for a cultural encounter. This is a clever work because it creates a comfortable situation for people to participate in a complex social and artistic exercise without the ramifications of this process being automatically obvious.  There is a generosity of spirit and lightness to Bouncy Marae, especially its transportability and simple functionality, which eradicates the opportunity for ponderous and sanctimonious responses. 

By creating this ‘pimped out’ Marae, which has been lifted from a back catalogue of Maoriana, Crawford makes reference to the commodification of indigenous cultures visual material, not only through colonial history but also in more recent times.  The subterfuge at work here is that it is difficult to locate where the artist stands in this regard, but there is the distinct sense that as participants, viewers and host we are all complicit in this situation.

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