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Royalty On Display As Art Gallery Tackles Themes

PRESS RELEASE - 15 October 2001


What : "whakapapa" a photographic installation by Jon Carapiet When: Tuesday 16 October- opening event : 5.30-6.30pm

Where: Compact, 47 High Street, Auckland City. The show runs till 15 November

One of the smallest gallery spaces in the world- (the Compact gallery, 47 High Street- Auckland City) will play host to a photographic installation exploring some of the biggest issues facing the world today.

The installation "whakapapa" is by Auckland photographer and writer Jon Carapiet and uses a modified image of the Royal Family taken from a poster for a woman's magazine, to explore issues of genetic engineering, inheritance, gender dynamics and attitudes to "geneology"amongst pakeha and Maori.

The installation will be on show till mid November and can be viewed any time. "The gallery must be one of the smallest spaces in the art-world where contemporary artists can show their work", says Jon . "It is really just a box with a window, but it is open 24hrs and it's easy for anybody to have a quick look as they pass by, rather thanhaving to make a special trip or it being just for the 'art-gallery crowd' ".

The exhibition's full title is "whakapapa- in the age of mechanical reproduction", and was inspired by Jon's involvement in the debate over a Genetically Engineering, which he says has the potential to transform every aspect of life including how we have children.

After completing his Masters degree in Photographer at Elam School of Fine Arts, Jon, who lives in Sandringham, has continued to exhibit work but has also become involved in the debate around GE, even attending the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

" I have been speaking about, and supporting the idea of a GE-Free NZ for a while", says Jon. "and it was bound to come through in my art-work. The Royal Family portrayed in this work are important because they are the most visible sign of how inheritance works in our society. Prince Charles is an organic farmer and strongly opposed to GE food- and at some point he will be King. 'The Crown' deals with Treaty of Waitangi issues, and choice of the title "whakapapa" was intended to bridge the gap between the Crown's role in deciding the future use of GE in New Zealand, and Maori perspectives."

ENDS For more information contact Jon Carapiet (Artist): 815 3370 Bill Riley (Compact): 021 141 3797

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