Contemporary Indigenous Aesthetics: Decolonization and Re-contextualization

Spring 2021 & Spring 2017

Image from Contemporary Indigenous Aesthetics: Decolonization and Re-contextualization
Course Details

California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
School of Critical Studies

This course will analyze contemporary indigenous practices and their relationship to global aesthetico-political discourses. The place of indigenous art within Western art history is fraught with the discipline’s role in the process of colonization. However, during the last twenty years or so, there has been an influx of indigenous professionals – curators, critics, historians, theoreticians, arts managers, and collectors – who have helped to re-contextualize indigenous arts. Therefore, in addition to the contributions indigenous artists have made through their work, we will investigate the specific contributions other indigenous cultural practitioners have made during the last two decades. We will take a comparative approach (limited to Anglophone regions) in examining the various colonial legacies and the corresponding decolonizing strategies that inform the production, dissemination, and consumption of contemporary indigenous arts. While analyzing local differences, we will also maintain a global perspective, paying particular attention to the place of contemporary indigenous art within the international art market as well as its participation in the international flow of art via international biennials.