Maori art showing genitalia cut from exhibit (TVNZ)
Maori artwork showing genitalia has been pulled from an exhibition.
Rotorua artist, Chanz Mikaere, was invited to showcase her work at the Rotorua District Council’s inaugural art exhibition, but swiftly got the chop when organisers viewed her creations.
Mikaere, who is also known as the ‘Teke Queen’, has made a name for herself by producing controversial artwork.
But it seems the two pieces offered are too risqué for the council.
One piece shows a flaccid penis at the end of a taiaha (a traditional weapon), another shows hands seemingly clasped in prayer, but on closer inspection, the form of a clitoris can be seen.
But Mikaere says it’s her way of stimulating discussion on the important issues that affect her people.
Whether it be domestic violence, whether it be honouring te whare tangata (womb) whether it be understanding our own processes of hapu conflict resolution.”
But Rotorua Mayor, Steve Chadwick, fears its content that’s likely to offend.
This is a place I want people to come up to and say, gosh that’s beautiful, oh that’s interesting, or its thought provoking, I don’t want to cause offense.”
The exhibition opens on December 6 and Mikaere has been invited to submit other works.
But at the moment, she feels she’s getting mixed messages from organisers.
“When you invite and you open up and you shoulder tap specific artists who have Arawa whakapapa and are known for being controversial artists to contribute work to an exhibition and then you tell them it’s too controversial, well I find that a little ironic.”