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Transcultural identities and art-making in a globalised world

Migration, understood as the movement of people and cultures, gives impetus to globalisation and the transculturation processes that the interaction between people and cultures entails. This book addresses migration as a profoundly transforming force that has remodelled artistic and art institutional practices across the world. It explores contemporary art's critical engagement with migration and globalisation as a key source for improving our understanding of how these processes transform identities, cultures, institutions and geopolitics. The book also explores three interwoven issues of enduring interest: identity and belonging, institutional visibility and recognition of migrant artists, and the interrelations between aesthetics and politics, and its representations of forced migration. Transculturality indicates a certain quality (of an idea, an object, a self-perception or way of living) which joins a variety of elements indistinguishable as separate sources. The topic of migration is permeated not only with political but also with ethical urgencies. The most telling sign of how profoundly the mobility turn has affected the visual arts is perhaps the spread of the term global art in the discourses on art, where it is often used as a synonym for internationally circulating contemporary art. The book examines interventions by three artists who take a critical de- and postcolonial approach to the institutional structures and spaces of Western museums. The book also looks at the politics of representation, and particularly the question of how aesthetics, politics and ethics can be triangulated and balanced when artists seek to make visible the conditions of irregular migration.

Anne Ring Petersen

of Western museums. Using their potentially disruptive and transformative interventions in American and French museums as examples, this chapter seeks to explore the potential of such interventions by artists at a time when Western cultural institutions need to be developing new policies of representation which reflect the fact that the societies and populations they cater for have been profoundly changed by migration. Recent decades have witnessed a growing recognition that new forms of bridge-building, as well as more self-investigation, are needed in museums

in Migration into art
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Kynan Gentry

to its perceived value to colonial Australian culture and society, but owing to the demand from western museums and scientific institutions. Indeed for Baldwin Spencer – Australia’s foremost anthropologist in the early twentieth century and director of the country’s national museum – the primary reason for collection was to secure ‘useful’ material for the museum through the sending of consignments

in History, heritage, and colonialism
James Clifford

, performance and translation, across generations, and across fraught borders of culture and place. It was a time when we were coming to see the borders of identity as dynamic, continually transgressed and remade, in specific historical relations of power, often unequal, but never static or unidirectional. Mary Pratt’s concept of the ‘contact zone’, drawn from colonial situations of dominance and transculturation, gave me a way of reconceiving the hierarchical, authoritative spaces of the Western museum. Readers may recall that the essay ‘Museums as Contact Zones’, which

in Curatopia
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Caroline Turner and Jen Webb

to an ethical way of inhabiting a global world – to engendering a cosmopolitan imagination.2 This cosmopolitan imagination is perhaps the defining feature of those Asian artists whose work erupted onto the scene, as far as western museums and audiences were concerned, late last century. Their insistence on ethics and equity, their humour and passion, and their iconoclastic approach continue to inform ways of making art as well as engaging with questions of human value 6 186 Art and human rights and rights. As the decades have passed, many have begun to turn

in Art and human rights
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Robin W. Winks and James R. Rush

Western museums, the first attempt to represent Indian art, the first labels placed on New Guinean pudenda flaps when displayed in London, the cup of tea by the fireside and the firecracker at Guy Fawkes night or Independence Day, each reinforced loosely-held, little examined views of Asian societies. Taken together, such scratches on the Western mind remained at the periphery, untended, almost unconscious motes

in Asia in Western fiction
Open Access (free)
Élisabeth Anstett and Jean-Marc Dreyfus

anthropology) or indeed for those of the humanities and social ­sciences (through the study and display of mummies or Maori heads in Western museums, for instance), many examples attest to a long history of the display of human remains and even of entire dead bodies. This visibility and presence have generated new thinking regarding their display –​whether whole corpses or constituent parts –​driven by an emerging host of ethical questions, giving rise to various legal measures and codes of good practice aimed at its organisation and regulation. A paradigmatic example of the

in Human remains in society
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A Tongan ‘akau in New England
Ivan Gaskell

, though, is unequivocally in accordance with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western decorative conventions. Joining the club Given that the premise of this volume is that Native thinkers and cultural guardians should be involved in the care and presentation of items that originated in their own cultural milieux when those items are in hegemonic Western museums – an ambition with which I have every sympathy – the most urgent curatorial question must surely be: How are such things to be cared for and presented in an emergent climate of scholarly opinion in which

in Curatopia
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Henry A. McGhie

enquiry, often in the form of natural history, with economic growth and political relations. For many aspiring scientific travellers (cum collectors and writers), the formation of a collection was of the utmost importance. Collecting specimens was a necessity as they would need to be compared with others in Western museums in order to establish what species they belonged to – or, more excitingly, whether any belonged to new species. If a naturalist came across (‘discovered’) a species that they thought was unknown to science, the accepted scientific practice was that it

in Henry Dresser and Victorian ornithology
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Technique and the lives of objects in the collection
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

secured a new technician post specifically for conservation, first filled by Muriel Whittaker. From within the Museum, Don Ashton was recruited from archaeology and Roy Garner from zoology; Bill Hutchinson transferred from the exhibitions department when Whittaker departed. They set up a new conservation laboratory in the basement of the old physics building next door to the Museum, funded partly by the North Western Museum and Art Gallery Service on the condition that the Manchester Museum resume its role as a centre for advice and support for other collections. The

in Nature and culture