Pluralism and the politics of change in Canada’s national museums
Ruth B. Phillips
video presentations, a billboard piece in the old market area
nearby, and satellite exhibits in nine other art galleries and exhibition spaces
in the city. The NGC curators Greg Hill and Christine Lalonde, and guest
curator Candice Hopkins, are specialists in North American Aboriginal
art. Working with an international advisory committee scattered around
the globe, they selected seventy-seven artists from Canada, the USA,
Greenland, Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, Samoa, Hawai’i, Mexico,
Columbia, Brazil, Japan, Taiwan, India and Scandinavia.29
Other messages were
implicate a web of relations among people, things, ideas, and practices. That both the lone genius and the iconic invention are bound up in the discourse of colonialism and oppression – here in Australia, the reactionary right like to tout the invention of the wheel as some sort of trump card in favor of white supremacy – is reason enough to find other narratives to champion.
Work by feminist anthropologists has highlighted how the sterile and rational world of capital, debt, exchange, and production is itself a mask hiding a rather more scuffed and complex
understandings of how and why people began (or ceased) to do new things. This is visible, for example, in many of the assumptions underlying current debates about the peopling of Sahul – the large landmass that includes continental Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, Seram, and adjacent Indonesian islands. We have well-dated archaeological sites from Indonesia to Tasmania placing human occupation of Sahul between 40,000 and 50,000 years ago. Recent archaeological work at Majedbebe (Northern Territory) suggests that the earliest colonization of Australia may have taken place over
Musées royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels, Belgium.
13 Museum voor Volkenkunde, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
14 The Pyramid, Memphis, Egypt, and Florida International Museum, Saint
15 Petit Palais, Paris, France.
16 City Art Centre, Edinburgh, UK.
17 Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA.
18 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
19 National Geographic Museum, Washington DC, and the Irving Arts Centre.
20 Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.
21 Musée des Beaux Arts, Montreal, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada
Experiences (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,
2014), pp. 206–46. See also Kahanu, Nepia and Schorch, Chapter 18 below.
17 G. Edgers, ‘Ritual Offerings, Peabody Essex Museum’, Boston Globe (10
August 2006), quoting a museum spokesperson. I repeat this observation from
I. Gaskell, ‘Encountering Pacific Art’, Journal of Museum Ethnography, 21
18 T.P. Kāwika Tengan, ‘The Mana of Kū: Indigenous Nationhood, Masculinity
and Authority in Hawai’i’, in New Mana: Transformations of a Classic Concept in
Pacific Languages and Cultures (Canberra: Australian
Ing-Marie Back Danielsson and Andrew Meirion Jones
images alter (as archaeologists, as anthropologists,
as artists) when we consider the image not as a static entity, but in-themaking. In that sense, we agree with Gosden and Malafouris’s (2015)
plea for a focus on process in archaeological analysis. Our focus on
process here is more modest than Gosden and Malafouris’s expansive
prospectus and we mainly pursue art and images as they emerge in
practices of making and engagement in the past, and through practices
of analysis in the present.
The Australian artist and theorist Barbara Bolt (2004: 13–14) draws
planners in ways that are rarely recorded explicitly.
So, what does an archaeology of lunacy look like? While lunacy in the past was not exclusively institutional, the study of historic asylums allows for a quantitative survey of the ways in which lunacy was conceived of and treated. This study of the subject of lunacy and asylums focuses, therefore, on the archaeology of those institutions where lunacy was managed within a framework: the asylums. Approaches to this subject in the United States and Australia have drawn heavily on historical
Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu, Moana Nepia, and Philipp Schorch
He alo aˉ he alo / kanohi ki te
kanohi / face-to-face: curatorial
bodies, encounters and relations
Noelle M.K.Y. Kahanu, Moana Nepia and Philipp Schorch
In spring 2016, two of the authors, Noelle Kahanu and Moana Nepia,
boarded a plane from Honolulu, Hawai‘i, to Auckland, Aotearoa New
Zealand, destined for the Pacific Arts Association conference. Kahanu
had previously initiated a consultation project between the Bernice Pauahi
Bishop Museum, Hawai‘i, Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners and
museums in Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. The most significant
From Samoa with Love? at the Museum Fünf Kontinente, Munich
Germany between 1895 and 1911 with the
Marquardt brothers, and to match these names with the faces in the historical photos of the show. This was the starting point in reconstructing
their villages of origin and locating descendants in Samoa, Aotearoa New
Zealand and Australia whom I could ask about Samoan perspectives. These
conversations provoked a number of genealogical stories, oral history narratives of the Samoan travellers’ lives before and after their participation in
the tours, and their impressions while in Germany. There were also material reminiscences
, Indigenous-driven museums in other
parts of the world, like the NMAI, Te Papa or the National Museum of
Australia, carrying a – in professional circles often only whispered, hinted
5.5 A table setting from a marae (the work Nemesis, by artist Reuben Patterson),
and a paˉtaka (food storehouse) all to be interpreted as commentary on the theme
of sustainability, in the exhibition E Tū Ake (as Leurs trésors sont une âme) at the
Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France, 2011.
and intimated – delegitimisation of the epistemologies of Indigenous curating. The