into the wilds

2014-03-08 14.24.15

It’s a long way from Upper Hutt to Cuba Street.

For me, going into the wilds of Upper Hutt (in fact another small city in the Wellington conurbation) is a journey akin to a major expedition to a new country.

I feel as if I am in place I don’t belong and I don’t recognise, culturally. There are shops like this, still pink from the 1990s: 2014-03-08 14.30.27
Large public buildings, wide roads and empty streets.

I did like this wall of plaques and the caution about forgetting all the others.

Plaques, Upper Hutt
Plaques, Upper Hutt

2014-03-08 14.25.12

So, why go there?

I went to see an installation at Expressions Gallery by Australian artist Tracey Moffat. The piece is called “the Other” (or just Other) and it’s a compilation of film clips that expose/serenade/illuminate/display our attractions for ‘the other’.

I’m sure it evokes the work of Edward Said, and there are some clips from The King and I to the Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith to Zulu to Mutiny on the Bounty to…….I liked it but I thought the ending was a bit um pastiche-y. It ends with a pseudo orgasmic bang. And although the attraction to the other can be sexual, and often is, someone like Spike Lee would say it is combustible in another way. So maybe she is right. It just seemed a bit…corny. Overstated somehow. How would I have ended it? Ah well there you are you see……

I was pleased I went to see it as I am a fan of her work.

Then I drove the back way, down the old Hutt Road through Taita, Avalon and to Petone, remembering things on the way like a friend who taught in Taita and the same friend with whom HT and I went to see Kiri Te Kanawa at Trentham Park, and playing golf at the Trentham Park Golf Practice park…….

2014-03-08 16.51.30

2014-03-08 16.51.39

2014-03-08 16.51.48
And I ended up in Cuba Street where I felt at last in my comfort zone. I had a flat white and wandered.


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