ABOUT PAE ĀTEA
Grounded thoughts colour our world
Through Nature's voice, we generate understanding
Faces of the Past, Faces of the Future
Ko te kōpiringa o taku reo
te kōrarahi o tōku ao
The limits of my language
mean the limits of my world.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logigo-Philosphicus, 1922.
Mēnā rānei tātau ka whakaarohia te tuku mātauranga nei, i te nuinga o te wā ka hokihoki tātau ki te mana whakatautanga kua pūmau i te kupu tuhituhi i ngā whakapuakitanga tau tānui, i ngā mahi toi hoki. Koia rā te whakarewanga matua hei taiapatia ngā whakawhitiwhitinga ā kupu me ōna āhuatanga maha, arā ko ngā whakaputanga ā tuhituhi me te hunga pāpāho hoki, ka noho ēnei hei mātāpuna matua o te tika. I ēnei rā, kua whīwhiwhia ngā aho kōrero i te āhua o ā rātau kawe nāna anō i whakatūrehurehu ai i tō tātau tirohanga atu ki te ao, tō tātau tuakiritanga, mauri hoki.
Heoi, ka pēhea mēnā rānei kāore e kitea ngā tohu o te reo e kawea nei i ngā ahunga, āhuatanga motuhake rānei o ahurea kē? Ka pēhea anō te kaha o te reo tuhituhi, ka ngāro rā i a tātau taua kaha ki te tahutahu ērā atu whakamahinga a pūnaha puakitanga tau tānui, ā, ki te pupuri iho ki tōna tūmatuatanga? Waihoki, ka pēhea mēnā rā te pūnaha nei, ka hanumi tō tātau motuhaketanga me te uekaha ā roherohenga nei?
Mēnā ka whakamihia tātau ki ngā taparere tuhituhinga ao whānui ake, ka ngāwari ake ai tō tātau wetewete i ngā uaua ō roto mai. Ka tohea ngā pou tarāwaho o te pūnaha mātauranga, kia kōrerotia ngā rerekētanga a te tōpūtanga, ā, ka rangiwhāwhāhia, ka tāpiritia te ara pai ake hei whakawhāiti i te hunga anō.
Ko te tuku nei he whakamātauria ai tātau kia whakaarohia ake te reo kāmehameha, otirā ōna herenga hoki o te kupu tuhituhi ka kuhu mai i ngā ahunga wheako nui o te wā. Ko Tuku Mātauranga te ingoa o ēnei papaataata. Hei tō ia papaataata he whakaatu i tētahi kupu me te whakamārama, tētahi i te reo ingarihi, ka mutu i te reo Māori. He taurua ēnei, kua takoto ngā whakamārama i tērā o ngā kohikohinga papakupu. Ko Caslon te momotuhi, he reo kōkuhu nā William Colenso i Aotearoa nei i ngā tau 1830. I whakamahia tuatahitia te momotuhi nei e te New Zealand Press kia te whakaputa ai te Kawenata Hou. Ka tohua ko te kōkuhutanga mai o te reo tuhituhi i tēnei whenua.
He tohu matua tō ia kupu i ngā tautuku aroro o te tuku nei. Hei whakatauira ake i ēnei whakaaro; arā kua mukua e mātau i ngā pū (reta) o ngā rerenga pākehā kāore e kitea tonu i te ara pū Māori. Ka whakamātauria ai te tangata ki te rapu i ngā kupu pākehā me te whai whakaaro hoki ki ngā mātauranga tuku iho ka ngaro i te kupu tauruarua (whakapākehā) nei
But when we think about the transmission of knowledge, we often default to the implied authority established and perpetuated within the written word above other modes of expression, including the arts. As a formalised composition of signs developed to structure communication, words and their various formats, including publications and media, have become a principal source of systemised truth. Today, they have a binding influence in the way we communicate and legitimise our worldview, our identity and therefore our essence.
But what if language has insufficient signs to carry the dimensionality and nuances of one culture or another? What if, in our societal emphasis on the written word, we lose our ability to activate other modes of communication to express and retain our humanity? Moreover, what if this systemised mode of communication further homogenises our uniqueness and dynamism as distinct communities?
If we acknowledge the universal constraints of the written word, we can disassemble the weight of authority that it carries. By questioning the underlying structures of knowledge systems, we can address our collective differences and adopt a more dynamic and inclusive appreciation of each other. This tuku challenges us to think about the beauty of language, but also the limitations of the written word to carry the dimensionality of lived experiences.
This set of billboards is called Tuku Mātauranga (the exchange of knowledge). Each billboard carries a single word definition, one in English, the other in te reo Māori. They work as dynamic pairings, their layout echoing a dictionary source. The typeface is Caslon, a typeface introduced by William Colenso in the 1830s in Aotearoa. It was used in the first printing press in New Zealand to produce the Māori New Testament. It marks the introduction of the written world into this country.
Each word is a signpost to the underlying concept of this tuku. To demonstrate the idea, we have removed letters not present in the Māori alphabet from the English interpretations. The challenge is to identify these words in English and consider the inherent knowledge that could be lost through translation.