The Culture Game

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $38.75
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 48%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $38.75   
  • New (4) from $38.75   
  • Used (1) from $38.75   


In self-congratulatory tones of tolerance and open-mindedness, the Western gatekeepers of the contemporary art world-gallery owners and museum curators, patrons and promoters-take great pains to demonstrate their inclusive vision of world culture. They highlight the Latin American show mounted "a few years ago" or the African works featured in a recent exhibition of non-Western artists. Non-Western artists soon discover that this veneer of liberalism masks an array of unwritten, unspoken, and unseemly codes and quotas dictating the acquisition and exhibition of their works and the success of their careers. In past decades, cultural institutions and the critical establishment in the West resisted difference; today, they are obsessed with exoticism. Both attitudes reflect firmly entrenched prejudices that prescribe the rules of what Nigerian-born artist, curator, and scholar Olu Oguibe terms the "culture game."In the celebrated, controversial essays gathered here, Oguibe exposes the disparities and inconsistencies of the reception and treatment afforded Western and non-Western artists; the obstacles that these contradictions create for non-Western and minority artists, especially those who live and practice in the Western metropolis; and the nature and peculiar concerns of contemporary non-Western art as it deals with the ramifications and residues of the colonial encounter as well as its own historical and cultural past. Ranging from the impact of the West's appetite for difference on global cultural relations and the existence of a digital Third World to the African redefinition of modernity, Oguibe's uncompromising and unapologetic criticism provides a uniquely global vision of contemporary art and culture. Olu Oguibe is a visual artist, writer, scholar, and curator. He is associate professor of art and art history at the University of Connecticut.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
A Nigerian-born artist, curator, and scholar, Oguibe (art & art history, Univ. of Connecticut; Reading the Contemporary: African Art from Theory to the Marketplace) navigates the complex systems of prejudice and exclusion still firmly in place within the contemporary Western art world. In this series of engaging essays, he examines the work of several important artists of African decent, including analysis of how these artists have circumvented institutional blockades. Also addressed throughout are the facades of liberal inclusion that merely mask a renewed obsession with exoticism. Oguibe, who has curated exhibitions at the Tate Modern in London, the Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, FL, and the City Museum in Mexico City, points out how some artists are faced with complacency and/or engagement in such exoticism for professional survival. Though the author is clearly disapproving of the Western hegemony, the voice that comes through is well reasoned, scholarly, and convincing. Recommended for academic libraries.-D'Arcy Curwen, San Bernardino, CA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816641307
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2003
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. I Terrain of Difficulty
In "The Heart of Darkness" 3
Art, Identity, Boundaries: Postmodernism and Contemporary African Art 10
Play Me the "Other": Colonialist Determinism and the Postcolonial Predicament 18
Double Dutch and the Culture Game 33
Pt. II Nation, History, Image
Nationalism, Modernity, Modernism 47
"Footprints of a Mountaineer": Uzo Egonu and Black Redefinition of Modernism 60
Photography and the Substance of the Image 73
Medium, Memory, Image 90
Represent'n: The Young Generation in African American Art 121
The Burden of Painting 139
Pt. III Brave "New World"
Forsaken Geographies: Cyberspace and the New World "Other" 149
On Digital "Third Worlds": An Interview 159
Connectivity and the Fate of the Unconnected 169
Notes 179
Previous Publications 191
Index 193
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)