A story of country : the politics of 'visibility' in western representations of indigenous art

Ronay, Nadia (2004). A story of country : the politics of 'visibility' in western representations of indigenous art Honours Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author Ronay, Nadia
Thesis Title A story of country : the politics of 'visibility' in western representations of indigenous art
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2004
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Franca Tamisari
Total pages 70
Language eng
Subjects L
419901 Art History and Appreciation
420305 Aboriginal Cultural Studies
Formatted abstract

This thesis examines the representation of country in two exhibitions of Australian Indigenous art. 'The Native Born: Objects and representations from Ramingining, Arnhem Land', and 'Story Place: Indigenous art of Cape York and the Rainforest' were created twenty years apart, and both are still touring today. Together they comprise a case study in how notions of country are used in the construction of otherness and difference in Western discourse. Fabian (1983) outlines how time is used in writing to construct 'otherness' through the denial of coevalness. This thesis explores how time, dichotomies of traditional and contemporary , story and photos are displayed in the exhibition, and how these act as mechanisms of representing Indigenous relationships to country in terms of difference and otherness.

Langton (1993) and Marcus (2000) argue that the easiest form of racism is to make the 'other' invisible. The exhibitions are examined in terms of notions of visibility, which highlights that not only is there a privileging of certain notions of country, but that this also fits in with a hermeneutic ethnographic form of classification. This privileging of a type of classification in the exhibitions is evident in ethnography and Western knowledge in general, and this highlights the potential of art and anthropology to inform each other through reflexive critiques of the politics of representation.

Keyword Art, Aboriginal Australian
Artists, Aboriginal Australian
Aboriginal Australians -- Queensland -- Cape York Peninsula -- Exhibitions
Art, Aboriginal Australian -- Northern Territory -- Arnhem Land -- Exhibitions

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Created: Thu, 13 Feb 2014, 11:47:44 EST by Nicole Rayner on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service