January Reading: Marianne Riphagen, “Black on White: Or varying shades of grey? Indigenous Australian photo-media artists and the ‘making of’ Aboriginality”

The next Aboriginal Art Reading Group meeting will be Monday, 18 January, 5:30PM, Room G38, Elisabeth Murdoch Building.

We will be discussing, Marianne Riphagen “Black on White: Or varying shades of grey? Indigenous Australian photo-media artists and the ‘making of’ Aboriginality,” Australian Aboriginal Studies, July 2008, Issue 1, 78-89.

The full-text article is available through SuperSearch on the University of Melbourne Library homepage.

Author’s abstract from QuickSearch:

In 2005 the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Melbourne presented the Indigenous photo-media exhibition Black on White. Promising to explore Indigenous perspectives on non-Aboriginality, its catalogue set forth two questions: how do Aboriginal artists see the people and culture that surrounds them? Do they see non-Aboriginal Australians as other? However, art works produced for this exhibition rejected curatorial constructions of Black and White, instead presenting viewers with more complex and ambivalent notions of Aboriginality and non-Aboriginality. This paper revisits the Black on White exhibition as an intercultural event and argues that Indigenous art practitioners, because of their participation in a process to signify what it means to be Aboriginal, have developed new forms of Aboriginality.

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