Pacific Presences Project
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Pacific Presences investigates the art and history of the Pacific, and Europe’s engagement with Oceania, through the rich ethnographic collections found in many European museums. Whilst a few works have become icons of Oceanic art, extensive collections, formed over the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, remain largely unstudied. Focusing on collections from the Pacific, which are now in museums in Russia, Germany, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom, this project will use inter-disciplinary methods to explore a broad range of artworks from the region. Considering the constitutive role of artefacts in Pacific societies whilst addressing the complexity of their cross-cultural histories, the project aims to confront and explore the colonial lives of the collections and consider their significance and salience to twenty-first century communities and audiences, in both the Pacific and Europe. The project is funded by the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement n° 11.