Walkative Marshall Islands

by Hannes Brunner

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European ideas of areas like the Marshall Islands (in the wider sense Micronesia) still consist of tourist visions of pristine beaches and indigenous cultures. Paul Gauguin’s 19th century pictures made in Polynesia are critically commented, but still fill exhibitions and ticket offices of renowned museums and spread a questionable, outdated picture ethic. The fact is that the Pacific Atolls and Islands represent living environments that suffer from their colonial and postcolonial history (until 1914 they were a German colony), the nuclear legacy as well as they are strongly affected by climate change. These realities underlie contemporary art development. For artistic practice it is important to mix the social interaction (e.g. through media), the connection of useless with necessary materializations, the hyper objects, as well as the exploration of digital capitalism and thus to try out social models between utopia and dystopia realistically. A direct discussion is made possible here.