Pacific Wash Up

Rachael Rakena, Fez Fa’anana & Brian Fuata

Until 1 November 2004

Single-channel video, sound. 5’ 47”.

Single-channel video, sound. 5’ 47”. Courtesy: the artists and Bartley and Company Art Performers: Fez Fa’anana, Brian Fuata, Seina & Latai Taumoepeau, Roslyn & Atawhai Whareaitu and Bernadette Awatere. Video camera and post-production: Rachael Rakena.

In Pacific Wash Up Maori and Pacific people make landfall on the shore of Sydney’s upscale Bondi beach – human flotsam transported by the ocean currents in plaid, plastic carry bags. The floating performers in Pacific Wash Up playfully represent what is almost a rite of passage for many young islanders: their commonplace migration to Australia, where they have to learn a new language and new culture. Greeted by quizzical looks from unsuspecting joggers and beach-walkers, however, their arrival also conjures a history of cultural alienation, dislocation and displacement often experienced by immigrants. For 26,000 Maori and 43,000 Pacific Islanders living in Sydney alone, the future lies in the balance.