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Between Savage and Civilized: Negotiating a Space for Indigenous Art in the 21st Century

Co-presented with the NYU Draper Program

What does it mean to be an “Indigenous artist” working between his/her own community and the contemporary global art world? To what degree has the global art world embraced the “tribal”, and the “tribal” interfaced with western art? These are some of the questions Brett Graham will explore, drawing from examples in his own work, and recent indigenous art exhibitions such as Sakahan: International Indigenous Art. Mario Caro (Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, NYU Draper Program) provides an introduction.

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Brett Graham is a New Zealand artist who explores his dual Maori and Pakeha (white settler) heritage and post colonial issues in the Pacific.  He has exhibited in the Venice Biennale in 2007 and at the Biennale of Sydney (2006, 2010). His collaboration with video artist Rachael Rakena, Aniwaniwa, about the flooding of his ancestral lands by the development of a hydro-electric power station, was part of Sakahan: International Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada last year.


Mario A. Caro is a researcher, curator, and critic of contemporary Indigenous art. He is currently an assistant professor in the John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at New York University.


Image credit: Jennifer French
Venue: Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU
8 Washington Mews
New York, NY 10003 United States
Phone: (212) 998-3700
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