Research from the Department of Art History that marks the 250th Anniversary of Captain James Cook’s discovery of New Zealand has been chosen as a contribution to the Palace of Ritual exhibition - part of the Venice Biennale (9-11 May 2019).

Attendees will be able to watch Professor Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll’s film – ‘Cook’s New Clothes’ - that documents two processional performances from the grounds of palaces of British maritime imperialism, the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and Queen’s House in Plymouth.

The film was developed alongside other international artists and commemorates 250 years since Tupaia, the Tahitian priest, navigator and translator, boarded the Endeavour with Captain James Cook in 1768. The collaborative and subversive processions uses music, regalia, dance, drawings and spoken words to critically reimagine and reconfigure the aesthetics and politics of Cook’s voyages.

Many of the costumes, props and musical instruments used in the production were made from recycled materials from the Pacific Ocean which represent a shrouding of credit to Tupaia in the historical records following Cook's partial reporting.

Professor Carroll commented: “Palace of Ritual will bring the film to a new audience that will be able to explore and analyse the symbolism within, and encourage reflection and interrogation of previously accepted historical narratives.”

This is part of Professor Carroll’s 'Restitution and Institutional Change' project that analyses how European institutions obtained, curate and still display non-Western intellectual property and material culture, and makes a case for its repatriation. She will be speaking about the work at 14:30 on 9 May, and at 17:00 on 10 May and 13 May at: The Research Pavillion, Sala del Camino, Campo S. Cosmo, 621 Giudecca, Venice.

Learn more: Cook's New Clothes website