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Art NZ 159, 2016: Article - Diane Prince


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Edward Hanfling, "Artist, Activist, Affect Alien: Diane Prince and the Flag Controversy", Art New Zealand, No. 159, Spring 2016, pp. 66-70, 127.
The first two paragraphs of the article read as follows:
"On 30 March, the New Zealand public stamped out Prime Minister John Key's campaign to change the New Zealand flag. On 2 November 1995, an installation at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki by Diane Prince (Ngati Whatua, Nga Puhi), which invited visitors to the gallery to trample on the flag, was removed from the exhibition 'Korurangi: New Maori Art' after complaints to the police and the threat of legal action. Despite sharing a lack of enthusiasm for the British ensign, two more contrasting characters than Key and Prince would be hard to find: one a mega-rich money trader and popular neo-liberal politician; the other a Maori activist and artist. And while (failed flag referendum apart) Key is perplexingly popular, Prince's artwork angered many, provoking copious complaints, letters to editors and so forth, but little serious analysis (symptomatic of which is that the work was mistitled in the 'Korurangi' exhibition catalogue and has been known by the erroneous title ever since).
British theorist Sara Ahmed, in her 2010 book 'The Promise of Happiness', uses the term 'affect alien' to describe people who are unhappy with, and choose to flout or challenge, mainstream social values, thereby alienating themselves, causing unhappiness in others and, importantly, highlighting the fact that contemporary life is not all sunshine and roses. Ahmed's examples are the 'killjoy feminist', 'angry black woman', 'unhappy queer' and 'melancholy migrant'. To this list, and in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand, it seems reasonable to add the 'Maori radical' and the 'controversial artist' - roles played effectively (or affectively) by Diane Prince during 'Korurangi'."

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: New Zealand art, art history, Maori art, political activism, affect theory, installation art, national flags
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NB Sculpture
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Edward Hanfling
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 00:12
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:23

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