In Tahiti they will witness a conference. At a garden party in a tropical landscape (located in the entrance hall of the Weltmuseum Vienna) Christopher Columbus chats with Margaret Mead over a glass of wine and Franz Boas puts on a performance. The artist herself is engaged in preparations for her field work as a participatory observer while Indian Jones raises the curtain on his own museum. As with the woman in Sigmund Freud’s study, he has a categorised and labelled a collection of non-European objects. The list tattooed on a woman’s lower arm shows the genealogy of white appropriation of foreign lands and provides hints about the contents of the installation.
‘For those at the top, the calendar is made up of the past. So that it will stay that way the powerful fill it with statues, holidays, museums, homages, parades. That all serves the purpose of keeping the past in place; where things have already happened and not where they will happen,’ says Don Durito, a well-dressed, pipe smoking beetle from the Lacandon Maya jungle, the shield bearer chosen by Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista Liberation Army.
Statues, museums, famous people and important anniversaries are found yet again on stamps and first day covers, those small envelopes where the postal services of various nations celebrate at various times and immortalise them all for the future.