Antipodean Aesthetics, Public Policy and the Museum: Te Papa, for example

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Ben Dibley


The Museum of New Zealand–Te Papa Tongarewa has proved a complex cultural site that has generated much public debate and a growing academic literature. This article departs from critical approaches that resolve the analysis of this museum by pointing up its programmatic inconsistencies, internal contradictions, representational inadequacies or its institutional paradoxes. Rather than establishing Te Papa as an object for reform the author reads it as an archive for reflection on the cultural predicament of an antipodean modernity.

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Author Biography

Ben Dibley, University of Auckland

Ben Dibley was recently awarded a PhD from the Australian National University.  This paper was prepared while he was affiliated with the Department of Sociology, the University of Auckland.