Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stephen Leuthold's "Introduction" deals with the problematic term "aesthetics" in reference to indigenous artists and individuals.  The problem lies in the fact that indigenous aesthetics and what constitutes native art is more often than not seen from the non-native, Western perspective.  (Indigenous "refers to people who are minorities in their own homeland, who have suffered oppression in the context of colonial conquest, and who view their political situation in the context of neocolonialism".)
-  problems with definitions (aesthetics, indigenous, art, representation)
-  important to understand how indigenous aesthetics functions in intercultural context; must acknowledge that when studying "others", one is looking from within a certain socio-cultural framework that dictates certain knowledge
-  could be problematic to use the word "art" in relationship to native expression; "art" needs to be redefined to be more all encompassing before it can be applied again

Claudette Lauzon's "What the Body Remembers: Rebecca Belmore's Memorial to Missing Women"
Rebecca Belmore's Vigil (2002)
performance as memorial to over sixty women - sex trade workers, predominantly Aboriginal - that have gone missing in the Downtown Eastside neigbourhood of Vancouver
-  sex workers are members of a marginalized social group whose discourse invariably presupposes that they should not be given a proper place in society.  Claudette Lauzon suggests that this discourse needs to be deconstructed.
-  postmodernist thinking
-  Belmore's The Named and the Unnamed offers a discussion on identity politics and representation
-  demands to make the absence present by creating material manifestations of the absent women (blood-stained clothes, torn dress, etc.)

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