Walk with me : a performative investigation, researching contested memories at New Zealand's national site for remembrance, Puke Ahu : an exegesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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Massey University
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Walk With Me is a performance art project that was born from an interest in memory and memorialisation. The guided tour series initiates an investigation of site that illustrates the power of the New Zealand Government to influence our national identity through the fuelling of dominant myths at the new National Memorial Park (Puke Ahu). The project has revealed the ongoing effects of colonialism and offers participants an alternative to the memory formed by the focus on New Zealand’s involvement in overseas wars. The Government’s spending on commemoration of the First World War and specifically the centenary of the Gallipoli landings of 25th April 1915, overshadows Maori remembrance stories of colonial conflicts, which are discreetly articulated at Puke Ahu. The project’s focus narrows from encounters with people at the site to concentrate on what is there, who is represented and what is performed there. This is a memory work that is bound to the site by the ritual act of walking and investigates the plural memories of the landscape.
Memory in art, Art installations, Pukeahu, National war memorial