Michael Parekowhai

My Sister, My Self

2007
Category: 
In this work, Parekowhai has combined a handmade replica of Marcel Duchamp’s Roue de bicyclette, first created in 1913, with a fibreglass seal. Duchamp’s ready-mades, assembled from ordinary manufactured objects, are among the most significant 20th-century artworks. Parekowhai’s remaking of Duchamp’s iconic sculpture by hand calls attention to the aesthetic and conceptual concerns underpinning different art histories. Māori customs valuing skill, adornment and innovation are contrasted with the emergence of the ready-made in modern art and the devaluation of the handmade thus implied. The inclusion of the seal refers to the late-19th-century seal hunt by European settlers, which decimated local seal populations, and is a possible analogy for early Indigenous/settler relationships.
Title
My Sister, My Self
Date
2007
Medium
Sculpture
Materials
fibreglas, wood, and enamel paint
Dimensions
265 x 150 x 102 cm
Nationality
New Zealander
Credit line
Purchased 2012
Accession number
43494