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The Pressure of Sunlight Falling

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The Pressure of Sunlight Falling

10th Sep 2011 - 19th Feb 2012

Fiona Pardington’s The pressure of sunlight falling is a series of photographs that depict life casts made by medical scientist and phrenologist Pierre-Marie Dumoutier during one of French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville’s South Pacific voyages from 1837-1840. 


Fiona Pardington (Ngai Tahu, Ngati Mamoe, Ngati Waewae, Clan Cameron) considers the ways in which photography and the proto-photographic medium of casting register empathy and the presence of former lives. This exhibition explores the meanings, histories and functions of nineteenth-century life casts, bringing together the psychoanalytical, philosophical and metaphysical threads of Pardington’s practice. These images, taken from casts held in French museums half a world away from the South Pacific, sees the artist investigate museum collections as imperfect yet infinitely precious archives of cultural memory. 


Curated by Director Rhana Devenport 

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