A Shelter for Amnesic Relatives Ammon Ngakuru
A Shelter for Amnesic Relatives considers the safe room, a space common in American survivalist culture and online discourse. As a thoroughly private form of shelter, the safe room is meant as a refuge from a future or perpetually imminent external threat or catastrophe—a space intentionally closed off from the outside world; a means of escape.
Viewed at a distance, from a location that has its own complex history of colonial occupation, the American Survivalist obsession (with some forthcoming and unknown danger) might be read as an attempt at avoiding an acknowledgment of history, a turning inward and away from both past and present. With this in mind, A Shelter for Amnesic Relatives asks whether this over-precaution might read as a manifestation of colonial or class guilt and an attempt at preparing oneself for some act of future revenge, imagined as an abstract apocalypse. The works presented operate as an attempt to mark the inside and outside, through the physical delineation of space and through the symbolic use of images and materials related to survivalist strategy.
Ammon Ngakuru is an artist living and working in Tāmaki Makaurau, Auckland. Considering ideas of distance, place and (un)belonging, he often utilises both personal and public archival information as a guide in the production of installation based works. Recent group projects include: Driving from the nearest city, the roads are gradually smaller, stonier, less well kept, with Charlotte Drayton for the Stazione Di Topolò, Italy (2016); Since 1984 - He aha te ahurea-rua?, ST Paul Street Gallery (2015).
A Shelter for Amnesic Relatives is proudly and generously supported by Ōtepoti Puaka Matariki Festival | 17 – 23 June, 2017