Event What Can Art...?

What Can Art...?

With Ian McLean & Response by Richard Bell

26 September 2015
3pm–4:30pm

  • Event Cost:
    Free

The IMA is pleased to present a talk by art historian Ian McLean. This is the seventh presentation in a series of talks running throughout the year titled What Can Art Institutions Do?, and will feature a response by Brisbane artist, Richard Bell.

McLean has published extensively on Australian art, and particularly Australian Aboriginal art within a contemporary context. Responding to the theme of the series, he will ask: What is the role and function of Indigenous art and its institutions? Using Richard Bell’s essay Aboriginal art, It’s A White Thing, as a point of departure, he will present a trajectory of Indigenous art institutions, from the 1970’s onwards. Simultaneously, he will trace the ‘Indigenization’ of mainstream art institutions from the 1990’s onwards.

McLean is Senior Research Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Wollongong and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia. His books include Double Desire: Transculturation and Indigenous art, How Aborigines Invented the Idea of Contemporary Art, White Aborigines Identity Politics in Australian Art, and The Art of Gordon Bennett (with a chapter by Gordon Bennett). He is a former advisory board member of Third Text, and is currently on the advisory boards of World Art and National Identities. 

Bell lives and works in Brisbane, Australia. He works across a variety of media including painting, installation, performance and video. Bell’s work explores the complex artistic and political problems of Western, colonial and Indigenous art production. He grew out of a generation of Aboriginal activists and has remained committed to the politics of Aboriginal emancipation and self-determination. In 2003 he was the recipient of the Telstra National Aboriginal Art Award, establishing him as an important Australian artist. Bell is represented in most major National and State collections, and has exhibited in a number of solo exhibitions at important institutions in Australia and America. In 2013 he was included in the National Gallery of Canada’s largest show of International Indigenous art, Sakàhan: International Indigenous Art, and at the Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art. In 2014, Bell’s solo exhibition Embassy opened at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth. In 2015, Bell was a finalist in the Archibald Prize and later in the year will present new work as part of Performa 15 in New York City.

This event is free for IMA members. Suggested donation for non-members is $5.

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The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.

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