Monday, November 29, 2010

Frozen Rights is Frozen Culture

Dana Claxton, Momma Has A Pony (girl named History and sets her free), digital C-print
[Alternator Gallery, Vancouver BC, Jun 9-Jul 21] image via:Preview
Last month, Alex and I went to see Steven Loft, a former colleague of mine, present his inaugural lecture as National Visiting Trudeau Fellow at Ryerson University.  Loft is a gifted curator, theorist and writer, and his lecture "Towards Forever... an Indigenous Art Historical Worldview," was a powerful and exciting call for change in the way Indigenous Art is studied (and all too often ignored) in the western canon, both in galleries and in academia.  Loft argues that Indigenous Art is often only seen in one of two ways: as frozen artifact or marginalized afterthought.  Loft calls for drastic changes in the curriculums of art and art history, and rejects the notion that contemporary Indigenous Art can be looked at through the lens of postmodernism.  He stresses the importance of developing "a new language of art history that is located in indigenous cultures." and the need to "create radical, critical and culturally dynamic discourse that responds to and engages with an indigenous cultural sovereignty."  

I strongly urge you to view the full video of Loft's  lecture  here

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