Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bird call

Here’s serendipity for you. Last week Nicolas Jasmin sent us an image of a new limited edition vinyl. The same morning the owner of Popup, a Wellington store that sells vinyl toys, told us he had just ordered one for us. As you can see from the image, this new vinyl is worth the attention. For the series Strangekiss has selected endangered species and equipped them with weapons of their own, plus the determination to fight back. Part of the purchase price goes to the WWF. The latest is this yellow-eyed penguin kitted out with a missile. The penguin is called Hinenuitepo and the packaging tells us that “Hinenuitepo is Makutu’s sister. Like her Maori name sake, she is the ‘goddess of death and great lady of the night’. Preferring to attack enemy ships at night when most of the crew is sleeping, she is very effective in her kill ratio and exceptional water borne combat specialist… she has her tribal face tattoo and Terminator Skull emblem proudly displayed on her body as a warning to all that cross her path.”

Hinenuitepo also brings up the perennial questions about the appropriation of moko. We rang a friend deep in one of the Maori departments of Government to test the current temperature. As you can imagine, it’s mixed from absolute opposition to an acceptance that moko has become part of the global image bank and, so long as it is done with understanding, go for it. To see a total lack of understanding (nudity alert – you have been warned – and, let’s face it, encouraged) check out this shameless Italian photographer. Maybe Hinenuitepo needs all the help she can get. Go pengui.