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Cafe Screens: Dusky Maiden Remix

Dusky Maiden Remix

With Jamie Berry, Pikihuia Haenga and Leala Faleseuga.

Dusky Maiden Remix is a collaborative audio visual work by Jamie Berry, Pikihuia Haenga & Leala Faleseuga, created as a response to the exhibition Wāhine: Beyond the Dusky Maiden, which was recently on at the National Library of New Zealand.

Wāhine: Beyond the Dusky Maiden, curated by Ariana Tikao & Catherine Bisley, spoke to the power of Mana Wāhine, countered the passive and limiting ‘dusky maiden’ stereotype of the past, by highlighting stories of dynamic and strong Māori and Pacific women, from earliest times to the present day.

Dusky Maiden Remix embodies the wairua of the original exhibition and weaves it into the multi-layered audio visual work. The response has been expanded to include Māori and Pasifika women, communities who both suffer the harm of the ‘Dusky Maiden’ trope, with the core message reinforced - we are all so much more than limiting stereotypes, we live far beyond those flat and hollow narratives, we do so everyday.

The piece is built from a foundation of work from the three artists, who all deal with the concepts of Māna Wahine and rejection of the ‘Dusky Maiden’ trope in their own practices, then remixed and layered with images from the exhibition itself, signs and symbols, re-appropriated imagery of dusky maidens, vignettes of everyday life (the very antithesis to a romanticised fantasy) and wāhine of mana and inspiration. The soundscape has been centered around music that was created by using taonga pūoro and Jamie Berry’s DNA sequence as a template.

Dusky Maiden Remix was first shown as part of The Mix Tape Tour, a live event response to Wāhine: Beyond the Dusky Maiden, hosted by Kava Club (www.kavaclub.org) which took place on August 12 2017.