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Indepth Arts News:

"Rene Boutin: Emergency Landing-Ground"
2003-10-03 until 2003-10-25
ArtSpace
Woolloomooloo, Sydney, NS, AU

Rene Boutin's work addresses global political, social and cultural issues, especially in a post-colonial context, and manifests physically as installations influenced by the aural tradition, the 'palabre'* and the social customs of New Caledonia. In Emergency Landing-Ground the central piece of the installation takes the form of a large hut, constructed out of cigarette box cartons (as cigarettes are essential items in all social exchanges in new Caledonia).

For the opening of Emergency Landing-Ground the audience is invited inside of this hut, around the central pillar which is a symbol of traditional roots in New Caledonia, and, for Boutin, also represents the disintegration of the public service due to privatisation. It is here that the audience is invited to the 'palabre' where change, sharing, fraternity and humility is real and the exchange belongs to the creative process. Through this performative element Boutin is able to complete his work, and the remains of the 'palabre' are integrated into the final installation.

Emergency Landing-Ground aims to alert the viewer of the constant human struggle against alienation, enslavement and exploitation, and attempts to promote an increased awareness for social justice, and the broader transmission of knowledge.

With the assistance of drawings, photographs, video and words René Boutin questions our real capacity for resistance and action when faced with the new international economic and political 'order'. An order determined by capitalism and as repressive as a totalitarian regime or colonial tradition, because hidden behind the promise of change, fraternity and 'democracy' is spoliation, enslavement and vassalage, reminding us of old illegal treaties of colonisation.

* 'Palabre' is a French expression used to describe a long meeting of collective reflection, which occurs in New Caledonian culture.


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