Taking as its departure point Bernard Smith’s classic study, European Vision and the South Pacific (1960), Double Vision explores the ambivalences of European perceptions of the Pacific and juxtaposes them with the indigenous visual cultures that challenge western assumptions about art and representation. Double Vision addresses these larger interpretive questions through case studies of the cultures of voyages, colonial art, and indigenous affirmations of identity. It suggests that images and texts can be combined through a new practice of innovative, visually oriented cultural history. This approach yields a fresh understanding of history, colonialism and culture in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Double Vision is a challenging combination of visual and textual inquiry, and its outstanding list of contributors offer a fresh perspective on art and history in the Pacific.
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