Pall Mall Cross
Pall Mall Cross
card, silver, stainless steel and wire
75 x 55 mm
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2000
10 Aug 2000
New Zealand Art
crosses (objects), Christianity, religious art, religious symbolism, symbols, logos, brands, signs, popular culture, cigarettes, humor, satire
Ko *Pall Mall Cross* he toi nō te raupapatanga *Merchandise*, 1999 a Gina Matchitt; he taonga whakanoa i tāraihia mai ai i ngā tohu aupēhi kia huri hei tohu hou, tohu whakakaha. Ko te mahi toi he pine i te āhua rīpeka Karaitiana, ā, kua whakauruhia tētahi wāhanga o te pouaka hikareti Pall Mall. I roto i tēnei mahi kei te arotahi ki te hītori o te hoko me te kai tupeka, he take nui i roto i te matenga wawe o te iwi Māori, ka mutu he mōreareatanga nui ki te oranga tonutanga o ngā kōrero ā-waha tuku iho.
I runga i tōna mārama ki ngā āhuatanga e rata ai te rangatahi, kei te titiro a Matchitt ki ngā huarahi e whakamahia ai ki te whakaatu i te ahurea Māori ki te rangatahi me te ohanga ā-rohe, ā, ka puta mai ngā pātai mō ngā mea e hoko ai tātou, me ngā panonitanga kia mahia hei whakaruruhau i te wairua mai i ngā whakahaere whai pūtea.
From Gina Matchitt’s series *Merchandise*, *Pall Mall Cross* is a talisman of whakanoa (removing tapu/protection) remodelled from oppressive symbols to serve new and empowering purposes. The artwork is a badge shaped as a Christian cross and infilled with part of a Pall Mall cigarette carton. With the work, Matchitt draws attention to the history of selling and consuming tobacco as a leading cause in premature death for Māori and therefore a serious threat to the survival of generational knowledge being passed down.
Using her unmistakable pop sensibility, Matchitt looks at the way Māori culture is packaged and presented to influence rangatahi (young people) and the local economy, and in doing so triggers questions about what we consume and highlights what changes to this must be made to protect our wairua (souls) from manipulation by capitalist institutions.