Sacred Exchanges: Images in Global Context

Sacred Exchanges: Images in Global Context

by Robyn Ferrell
     
 

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The term “title” has multiple senses—as a claim to identity or social status, as an assertion of rights, as proof of ownership, as a designation of a work of art. In Untitled Robyn Ferrell contrasts these associations so characteristic of the first world with the status of indigenous peoples. She uses as an example a school of Aboriginal Australian

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Overview

The term “title” has multiple senses—as a claim to identity or social status, as an assertion of rights, as proof of ownership, as a designation of a work of art. In Untitled Robyn Ferrell contrasts these associations so characteristic of the first world with the status of indigenous peoples. She uses as an example a school of Aboriginal Australian women’s art that has achieved significant international success in the contemporary art world. The work bears a strong superficial resemblance to Abstract Expressionism, yet, as Ferrell shows so beautifully, to see it in the guise of comparative aesthetics is to miss completely their widely divergent ontologies, logics of sensation, and relation to politics and religion.Ferrell also relates the Aboriginal case to other issues on the postcolonial agenda, including Truth and Reconciliation hearings in South Africa, art and Inuit and South Pacific economies, and female circumcision in the first and third worlds. She uses contemporary theory as a means to explore the nature of the “European gaze” on the cultures of others, asking why it is so captivated by them and what in its own tradition is sacred. Without an understanding of the influence of the dominant European aesthetic of the real, she concludes, the possibility of intercultural dialogue, whether on politics or art (and in fact they are inseparable), is not possible.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This book explores the intellectual history that has changed the way we think about family, moving away from a marriage-centered view of parenthood to a more child-centered one. Carbone (law, Santa Clara) examines the theory behind this transformation, analyzes the empirical evidence on which the debate over family and marriage is based, and ties this intellectual debate to the legal ramifications such as the deregulation of the relationship between husband and wife. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Evening Haze - Joshua Paetku
Through the lens of the Australian Aboriginal art movement Ferrell confronts the reader with some surprising truths about the world we live in and the myopic and murderous callousness which makes us inattentive to these realities.

Ewa Ziarek
Sacred Exchanges is beautifully written. One of its main strengths lies in its nuanced, interdisciplinary, and comparative approach. It skillfully negotiates among different cultural perspectives and theoretical approaches to art and politics, ranging from indigenous studies, feminism, and postcolonial studies to psychoanalysis and philosophy. Equally at home in all of these modes of interpretation, Robyn Ferrell at the same time exposes their limitations in the context of intercultural encounter with Western and non-Western art forms. This book strikes a felicitous balance between innovative theoretical analysis, the engaging interpretation of particular artists, and timely discussions of specific legal cases regarding the recognition of aboriginal rights.

Evening Haze
Through the lens of the Australian Aboriginal art movement Ferrell confronts the reader with some surprising truths about the world we live in and the myopic and murderous callousness which makes us inattentive to these realities.

— Joshua Paetku

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231504423
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
03/27/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
5 MB

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What People are saying about this

Kelly Oliver
Robyn Ferrell's latest book is a powerful and evocative engagement with the complex of raced and gendered relationships produced by and exchanged through global economic art markets. She draws on her experience with Warlipi women artists from the Australian Tanami desert to challenge easy distinctions between art and artifact, nature and culture, and, in complicated ways, aboriginal art and Western art. Ferrell brings this aboriginal art to bear on Western aesthetics in ways that not only challenge that aesthetics and the meaning of color, shape, form, and art itself, but also trouble what is considered authentic aboriginal art. She discusses how much of contemporary aboriginal art is produced for Western markets that have in some significant ways transformed traditional practice. She also forges a conversation between aboriginal aesthetics and Western aesthetics that pushes contemporary debates beyond their usually comfortable boundaries.

Meet the Author

Robyn Ferrell is a research fellow in the Gender and Cultural Studies Department at the University of Sydney and has taught at the University of Melbourne, Macquarie University, and the University of Tasmania. She has also held visiting research positions at the London School of Economics and the University of Western Sydney and is the author of Copula: Sexual Technologies, Reproductive Powers, Genres of Philosophy and Passion in Theory: Conceptions of Freud and Lacan.

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