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naughty natives security threat liminal being a medium  
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Maccassan Story Yugambeh MoleMole ifloving you is wrong... Moko  


Torika Bolatagici

Vaniqa (the sound of someone treading on leaves) 2007

from the series "Security/Threat"
Digital Print on 100% cotton rag
153 x 61 cm

Artist Statement

“The series Security/Threat was photographed in Nasinu, a suburb just out of Suva, and in a studio in Melbourne, Australia. I stayed in Nasinu for a couple of weeks in 2006, and developed a heightened awareness for matters of security. There were bars on all the residential windows and fluoro security lights illuminated each house, while barking dogs alerted residents to passers-by. At the time, the Fiji Times and Fiji Sun ran stories about violent home invasions, robberies and assaults. Just prior to my visit, a good friend’s home had been invaded, despite them having gated security, a dog and a security guard. She described how the burglars were often naked so that people wouldn’t be able to grip clothing and their bodies would be oiled so that they could slip away from potential grasp. The works in the Security/Threat series are designed as individual diptychs. The left-hand side of each image is a scene from Nasinu at night. On the right hand side, a Melanesian male assumes a pose inspired by colonial studio photographs of Fijian warriors.
Essentially the Security/Threat series is about the double bind of the black body – perceived as both threat and protector. Are black bodies to be feared or revered? Do they represent menace or shield?”


Torika is the daughter of an Australian mother of Anglo-Celtic origin and an Indigenous Fijian father. Born and raised in Hobart, Torika moved to Melbourne, to study Media Arts at Deakin University in 1997. After graduating with First Class Honours in Media Arts at Deakin University in 2000 she went on to complete a Masters of Multimedia Design at Monash University. 

Her photographic and video work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including New York, San Francisco, Oakland, Manukau, Auckland, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania. Torika has published and presented at local and international conferences about the representation of mixed-race identity. Forthcoming chapters include ‘Daughters of the Diaspora: Migrant Women and Hip-Hop’ and ‘Identity and Authenticity in the Pacific Diaspora: Conversations on Art.’ 

Torika is a full-time lecturer in the School of Communication and Creative Arts at Deakin University, Melbourne and a doctoral candidate in the Centre for Contemporary Art and Politics at the College of Fine Arts (University of New South Wales). Torika’s ongoing research is concerned with neo-colonial encounters between the US, Australia, Britain and Pacific Island nations and representations of masculinity and militarism in the Pacific. She is also interested in documenting diasporic Pacific Islander communities in Australia. 

Read more: http://torika.wordpress.com

Buli Vacu (to clench the fists to fight) from the series "Security/Threat"
2007, Digital print on 100% cotton rag
153 x 61 cm

Dau Butako (burglar) from the series "Security/Threat"
2007, Digital print on 100% cotton rag
153 x 61 cm