How Does One Define 'Indigeneity'?

What is the relation between the indigenous and the international art systems?

Professor Isaac Julien, Chair of Global Art in conversation with special guests Jean Fisher and Mark Nash discussing what global art is today (27 Feb 2015).

This in-conversation looks at the critical, but repressed, notion of ‘indigeneity’ in the context and history of contemporary art, through both global exhibitions as well as specific artworks. 

‘Indigeneity’ Jean Fisher argues is the experience of injustices introduced by colonialisation and the racist edifice it built on a hierarchical division of peoples into superior or inferior. The history of colonialism, is also a history of resistance by indigenous people. Debates on Global post-colonial art have by and large avoided discussing the continuing colonialisation of indigenous peoples in countries such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Palestine.

Isaac Julien’s interest in issues of ‘indigeneity’ began with his long-standing focus on representing the experience of the other within a complex paradigm of socio-political aesthetics and economic factors. Julien will reference both True North (2004), his installation inspired by the story of the black American explorer Matthew Henson (1866-1955), and Te Tonga Tuturu/True South (2008), taking form in a photographic series that resulted from Julien’s residency at the Two Rooms Gallery in New Zealand in March 2008.

Mark Nash and Isaac Julien are working as curatorial advisors on the 56th edition of La Biennale di Venezia directed by Okwui Enwezor.

Note: The above film includes the film work 'Dance to the Berdashe'  courtesy of Kent Monkman's Studio with thanks.

Watch the Full Lecture on YouTube