Auckland Art Gallery’s new ‘cardboard city’ illustrates the concept of displacement

The concept of displacement is a tangible one. With Mother Nature brewing up storms that threaten to destroy homes and whole communities, refugees refused entry to a certain neighbour’s shores, and ongoing wars being in the Middle East, it is quite clear that no one is safe. Yet unless you’ve experienced displacement for yourself, it can be hard to relate to. This is the point of From Pillars to Posts: Project Another Country, the latest participatory project to arise at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.

From Saturday 21st April, visitors will be able to explore and contribute to a city constructed entirely of recycled cardboard boxes. Conceived by artists and husband-and-wife duo Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan, the idea behind the project is to explore the ideas around community, family, relocation and homemaking. It is also part of an ongoing series of site-specific projects that use art-making to prompt conversations about what makes a home.

According to AAG Director Rhana Devenport, “the themes the Aquilizans explore and the discussions that their work evokes — surrounding migration, displacement and settlement — are so vitally relevant for Aucklanders today and for the city’s future. With 39 percent of people living in the Auckland region having been born overseas, these are conversations that truly matter in today’s world.”

Having dedicated much of their lives to travel and exploring the notion of ‘home’ and ‘belonging’, it would seem that anyone and everyone will take something away from this thoughtful new project.

‘From Pillars to Posts: Project Another Country’ will be free to access at the Auckland Art Gallery from Saturday 21st April. 

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