Cultural Studies Vol 09-01 by L. Grossberg

By L. Grossberg

Cultural experiences is a global magazine dedicated to exploring the relationships among cultural practices and lifestyle, financial kin, the fabric international, the nation, and ancient forces and contexts.

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Bénézit (1976:5:93), a major dictionary of artists, confuses the two Goldies. 44 CULTURAL STUDIES 5 Jenny Harper, Director of the National Art Gallery, at a symposium, ‘Sentimental Parlour Pieces or Great Works of Art? Goldie’, Wellington City Art Gallery, 3 April 1991. 6 For example, Tony Lane, artist and a panellist at the same symposium. 7 The critical evaluation of Goldie’s paintings in New Zealand in the first decade of the century was generally ultra-positive. The periodical, The Triad, published the few dissenting opinions: ‘One tires very quickly of the sameness of this indefatigable artist’s work’ (10 June 1912); ‘His work has too much of the machine-made art’ (10 August 1918).

This list does not exhaust the possible meanings and uses of Goldie’s paintings, or the contestation over their values. Lastly, for the purposes of this paper, and importantly, given the picture I have presented so far, some Goldie paintings have taken on considerable value and prestige among Maori people. In particular the kin, the descendants of the models in Goldie’s paintings can see the works as embodiments of the spirituality and mana (prestige, authority) of their forebears, as visualizations of the being of actual people, as affirmations of tribal and cultural identity and links with the past (Bell 1991; 1992:256–8).

Frizzell’s approach is much more aggressive. It is primarily concerned with the repudiation of any restrictions that might be put on his individual artistic freedom: I come along and put my hand in and grab a tiki it’s ‘No, you’re not allowed that one—put it back—but that’s horseshit. The idea that you can keep a culture alive by choking it to death is ridiculous. You can’t put a patent on a culture. 9 Frizzell’s response characterizes the Western belief that controlled exchange with any aesthetic form is an inhibiting and therefore negative process.

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