Neo-colonial Extracts, 2010.Two-channel High Definition video.5 minutes, 34 seconds. 16:9, colour, sound.Courtesy: Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
Neo-colonial Extracts considers the effects of foreign investment on a developing country by documenting the failed Sheraton Resort in Rarotonga, Cook Islands. The NZ$122 million resort development, with allegations of criminal involvement, was stalled in 1998 following the arrest of several key people involved. As guarantors, the Cook Island Government was almost financially crippled by the abandoned development - the balance totaling approximately half of the nation's debt.
This documentation brings the current reality of the abandoned resort into slow focus. The incomplete luxury chalets are overcome by vegetation and stand as derelict concrete shells on an island paradise. The decaying resort is coupled with a single long take of a nearby tour boat pictured floating, solitary and unused.
As a solemn memorial to the Cook Island's tourism industry, Neo-colonial Extracts reflects upon the consequences of globalisation on a developing island nation.
Angela Tiatia is New Zealand born, and lives and works in Sydney. See www.angelatiatia.com.
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