Darcell Apelu

Happy Islander (2013)

6 min 15 secSingle channel / Digital Video / Colour / Silent

Happy Islander is a response to this quote by Karen Stevenson (i). As time moves on the unease of the smile becomes heavy. The smile is used in order to assert the uncomfortable position of the exoticised other.

(i) Stevenson, K. (2008). The Frangipani Is Dead, Contemporary Pacific Art in New Zealand. Wellington, Aoteroa New Zealand: Huia publishers.

This work is discussed by the artist on CIRCUIT Cast 84 

"As a stereotype, the Pacific is embedded in the discourse on colonisation, representation and gender. The Pacific and its traditions are seen as ‘other’, as exotic – a tourist experience to be had, a souvenir. The clichés of the happy Islander...”

Artist's statement

Ngā ataata nā Darcell ApeluOther works by Darcell Apelu

CIRCUIT is the
leading voice
for artist moving image
in Aotearoa New Zealand,
distributing works,
critical review and
which reflect our unique, contemporary
South Pacific context.

Ko CIRCUIT te māngai
mō ngā mahi toi kiriata
o Aotearoa, e tuku
atu ana i ngā mahi toi,
i ngā arotakenga
me ngā whakawhitinga
kōrero e kitea ai
ngā āhuatanga
motuhake o tō tātou noho i te ao hou ki
Te Moananui-a-Kiwa.