Fabricating Blackness: Aboriginal identity constructs in the production and authorisation of architecture

Go-Sam, Carroll (2011). Fabricating Blackness: Aboriginal identity constructs in the production and authorisation of architecture. In: Antony Moulis and Deborah van der Plaat, Audience: The 28th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference. Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (1-27). 7-10 July 2011.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author Go-Sam, Carroll
Title of paper Fabricating Blackness: Aboriginal identity constructs in the production and authorisation of architecture
Formatted title
Fabricating Blackness: Aboriginal identity constructs in the production and authorisation of architecture
Conference name Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Conference location Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Conference dates 7-10 July 2011
Convener Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)
Proceedings title Audience: The 28th Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ) Annual Conference
Place of Publication Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Publisher Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand (SAHANZ)
Publication Year 2011
Sub-type Fully published paper
Open Access Status
ISBN 9780646558264
0646558269
Editor Antony Moulis
Deborah van der Plaat
Start page 1
End page 27
Total pages 27
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
The architect and writer, Fantin concluded that, ‘Aboriginal identity is not separate from external forces and influences and architecture is one of those influences. The difficulty in evaluating Fantin’s assertion of the power exerted by architecture is firstly due to a lack of any convincing documented measurement of supposed forces, and secondly there is a relative absence of Indigenous voices in the discourse; so it becomes problematic to conclude the extent architecture exerts this presumed power. Another view presented, is that architecture incorporating Aboriginal themes derived from cultural and totemic references, reinforces identity stereotypes. Leading to the conclusion that several of the completed works consciously and deliberately represent Aboriginality as a primitive and romanticised concept. This latter view poses a contradictory perception that contemporary Indigenous client groups or individuals who participate in projects are passively or naïvely complicit in endorsing regressive, essentialised notions of identity.

The current paper considers alternate viewpoints on identity formation by exploring the complex nuances of public and private ethnicity marketed to national and global audiences. Multiple tensions underlie the fixed state inherent in architectural representations. Such buildings are expected to bridge inter-cultural domains, each with competing agendas put forward by various authorising agents and players who impose differing manifestations and influences on identity. Of the productions completed to date, is it really so, that they perform to preconceived notions of Aboriginality and identity or is it possible such buildings regardless of their intent generate unfulfilled expectations and unsatisfying explorations of ethnicity, unable to deliver all things to a segmented and divided audience?
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Presented during Session 5B: "Consumption and production in the indigenous architecture of the Pacific Rim". Published in full on the Proceedings CD-ROM enclosed with the Proceedings. Abstract published on p20.

 
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Created: Thu, 11 Aug 2011, 09:29:42 EST by Jon Swabey on behalf of School of Architecture