Fallen Empire: Museum of True History in Collaboration Karl Chitham and Jack Ross
For Blue Oyster Fallen Empire: the Museum of True History [MOTH] has invited artist Karl Chitham along with writer Dr Jack Ross to explore the collections of the little known Society of Inner Light.
Although few relics of this reclusive group of esoterics and mystics survive, a small, fragmentary collection of plays was found in the back of a Raetihi storehouse in 2010. These plays represent what may be the only existing examples of pseudo-religious works that aspired to combine classical mythology with Maori legends. The three plays that exist in any substance are titled "Maui in the Underworld," "Hatupatu and the Nile-monster" and "Kupe and the Fountain of Youth."
Fallen Empire features works recreated by Karl Chitham, including a paper theatre used by Society of Inner Light member Bertolt Wegener to compose his works, a moving image work interpreting some of the recovered scenes and a small collection of costume sketches. Also accompanying the exhibition is a limited edition MOTH publication with excerpts from the manuscripts alongside interpretation by Dr Jack Ross and Karl Chitham.
Karl Chitham has a Masters in Sculpture from Elam School of Fine Arts, Auckland and is currently the Art Collections Curator for the University of Waikato. He has collaborated with the Museum of True History since early 2010 and is also a member of MOTH’s programming advisory committee.
Dr Jack Ross is an academic and author who has written and edited more than twenty books to date. He has a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Edinburgh, and currently lectures in English and Creative Writing at Massey University.