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Lecture

Lecture8

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Department
Art
Course
FAH354H1
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
FAH354  –  Lecture  8 Kispaix  Village,  Emily  Carr,  1929 • Seeing  her  view  of  Aboriginal  art  as  what  it  should  be  is  bad • She  was  very  posi▯ve  but  was  looking  through  a  very  Victorian  lens • Her  view  of  first  na▯ons  art  was  a  very  colonialist  view,  even  though  she  was  very  sympathe▯c    and   knowledgeable  of  their  art • In  this  she  is  showing  a  dying  culture,  abandoned  villages,  what  she  thought  of  as  a  tragedy • That’s  the  privilege  of  the  colonialist  viewpoint  –  sense    of  a  “dying  race”   Carr  at  Tanoo,  Queen  Charlo▯e  Islands,  1912 • Taking  Emily  Carr’s  viewpoint  makes  you  sound  like  you’re  living  in  1912 • Many  Aboriginals  have  been  ac▯ng  out  against  Emily  Carr’s  work  for  a  long  ▯me • She  was  pre▯y  brave  –  young  woman  travelling  alone,  sketching  totem  poles  and  trying  to   understand  the  culture • Carr’s  European  landscapes  (done  around  1911)   -­‐done  in  France -­‐trying  to  pick  up  avant-­‐garde  styles • She  then  applied  those  visual  techniques  to  the  work  she  was  doing  on  the  west  coast • Some  of  her  earliest  watercolours  have    very  loose  and  vibrant  colour -­‐similar  to  her  European  landscapes  done  back  in  1911 th •  She  made  first  na▯ons  art  into  early  20  century  modernism Lee-­‐Ann  Mar▯n:  works  by  the  new  genera▯on  of  the80s  “challenged  both  current  prac▯ces  and  the   master  narra▯ves  of  art  history,  while  opera▯ng  fully  and  consciously  within  the  interna▯onal   environment  of  contemporary  art”  (380) • Current  prac▯ces  =  prac▯ces  within  first  na▯ons  communi▯es • Those  prac▯ces  tended  to  focus  on  ‘cra▯’  and  ‘tradi▯onal  Indian’  works  (beadwork,  weaving,   carving,  etc.) • Mar▯n  is  saying  that  there  is  an  internal  prac▯ce  of  first  na▯ons  art,  and  that  was  coming  into  light   during  the  80s • Master  narra▯ves  of  art  history  =  e.g.  landscape  art  (category) -­‐or  pu▯ng  everything  under  one  ar▯st  and  focusing  on  their  biography FAH354  –  Lecture  8 -­‐looking  at  things  chronologically -­‐regionalism • Opera▯ng  within  interna▯onal  environment  of  contemporary  art  =  all  ar▯sts  now  are  being  trained   in  the  usual  art  schools  (OCAD,  etc.)   -­‐keen  on  certain  indigenous  themes -­‐makes  it  complicated  to  categorize  their  work Jane  Ash  Poitras,  Buffalo  Seed  (2004)  (example) -­‐in  the  first  people’s  pain▯ngs  in  the  ROM -­‐typically  post-­‐modern  work -­‐pain▯ng,  for  the  most  part -­‐pain▯ng  of  another  pain▯ng  but  looking  like  a  photograph  (the  colour  bar  on  the  side  used  to  come   with  old  analog  photographs) -­‐buffalo  ea▯ng  grass -­‐set  of  juxtaposi▯on  of  European  VS  indigenous  knowledge  about  the  environment  (animals,  plants,   people) • This  overturns  master  narra▯ves  of  art  history  because  we  don’t  know  what  to  do  with  it • Is  it  a  landscape  pain▯ng?  Not  exactly • The  pain▯ng  has  an  interna▯onal  AND  na▯onal  profile “these  ar▯sts  share  a  cri▯que  of  popular  ethnographic  stereotypes  and  a  focus  on  the  impact  of   Canada’s  colonial  history  on  Aboriginal  peoples”  (Mar▯n,  383) • Rebecca  Belmore,  protest  against    exhibit  671B:  The  Spirit  Sings:  Ar▯s▯c  Tradi▯ons  of  Canada’s  First   Peoples  (1988) •  She  sat  outside  in  -­‐18  degree  weather  all  day  to  protest • Wearing  the  Shell  oil  logo • Timed  as  a  protest  around  the  Olympics,  because  the  exhibit  was  put  on  during  the  Olympics   • At  the  same  ▯me  Shell  was  sponsoring  the  art  exhibit,  they  were  exploring  for  oil  on  disputed  land   that  First  Na▯ons  claimed  was  theirs,  by  treaty  rights • Sign  in  front  of  her  =  “ar▯fact  671B  1988” • Many  people  thought  the  ar▯facts  in  the  exhibit  were  SACRED,  and  not  meant  to  be  put  in  a   museum  or  taken  from  museums  to  other  museums Carl  Beam,  The  North  American  Iceberg,  1985 FAH354  –  Lecture  8 • Trying  to  replace  usual  Western  history  themed  history  with  Indigenous  history • He  gets  the  name  off  a  big  exhibit  called  “The  European  Iceberg”   -­‐plays  off  of  it  in  a  bi▯er  way,  sta▯ng  that  indigenous  history  is  lost  in  north  America,  as  opposed  to   European  history • North  American  Iceberg  was  the  First  contemporary  indigenous  work  that  was  bought  by  a  major   gallery  (the  Na▯onal  Gallery),  and  not  put  in  an  ‘ethnographic  sec▯on’ • Understanding  of  the  pain▯ng  as  ART  rather  than  ETHNOGRAPHIC  art Carl  Beam,  Big  Things  (2002) • Picks  up  the  use  of  collages  from  another  ar▯st,  Robert  Rauschenberg Rauschenberg,  Retroac▯ve  II  (1964) -­‐imagery  of  Kennedy,  the  space  race,  earlier  art  historical  illusions,  newspaper  and  text,  collaged   together  in  a  visually  sa▯sfying  and  very  colourful  way -­‐Beam’s  work  is  similar • Stylis▯c  influence  from  Andy  Warhol  as  well -­‐screening  and  colour  techniques Rauschenberg,  Rebus  (1955) • Messy  style  makes  it  difficult  to  read  in  a  linear  way  or  iconographically Carl  Beam,  BURYING  the  RULER  (1992) • Part  of  a  series  of  works  called  “The  Columbus  Project” • th It  was  the  500  anniversary  of  Columbus • In  1992  there  was  a  lot  of  hype  around  Columbus  in  North  America • Millions  of  na▯ves  found  this  offensive  –  500  years  of  exploita▯on • Beam  was  not  in  favour  of  celebra▯ng  the  act  of  coloniza▯on • RULER  =  king/queen -­‐varying  sense  of  colonial  rule -­‐also  used  for  measurement  (idea  of  making  things  fit) -­‐rulers  used  for  corporal  punishment  in  schools  (=residen▯al  schools) • Beam  scratches  the  surface  in  order  to  ‘reveal  himself’  –  maybe  he’s  the  ruler? • Chao▯c  lines,  not  really  controlled FAH354  –  Lecture  8 • He’s  trying  to  bury  this  history  but  also  reviving  it Beam,  Self  Portrait  in  my  Chris▯an  Dior  Bathing  Suit  (1980) • It  seemed  the  thing  that  Na▯ve  people  didn’t  do…  na▯ve  ar▯sts  were  s▯ll  doing  the  grand  themes,   not  autobiographical  self-­‐portraits.  I  like  the  li▯le  personal  things,  the  sketches  and  experiments  of   ar▯sts,  and  the  informal  experimental  work  of  Gaugin...Self  portrait  –  was  addressed  to  the  forces  of   apathy.  The  handwri▯en  script  said,  “what  have  you  done  have  you  wri▯en  any  poems,  music?  Have   you  ever  done  anything  unusual,  ordinary?  I’m  surrounded  by  a  lot  of  bland  people  who  represent   forces  of  normalcy.  They  offer  advice  on  your  art  career..  “ Beam,  Tribe  (2002) Albert  in  the  Blue  Zone  (1988) Whose  Space  Is  It?  (2001) • Lines  and  diagonals  dividing  the  pace • Whose  space  is  it?  Is  it  an  art  ques▯on?  Who  owns  the  oceans?  Who  owns  the  space  where  the   whale  might  exist?  Etc. • They’re  not  just  Aboriginal  ques▯ons,  they’re  ques▯ons  for  all  of  us Edward  Poitras,  Coyote  (1986) -­‐made  of  mostly
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