Summary: "More than ever, "the body" is today at the center of radical and institutional politics. Feminist, antiracist, trans, ecological movements: all look at the body as a ground of confrontation with the state and a vehicle for transformative social practices. Concurrently, the body has become a signifier for the reproduction crisis generated by the neoliberal turn in capitalist development and for the international surge in institutional repression and public violence. In Beyond the Periphery of the Skin, lifelong activist and bestselling author Silvia Federici examines these complex processes, placing them in the context of the history of the capitalist transformation of the body into a work-machine, expanding on one of the main subjects of her first book, Caliban and the Witch. In this process she confronts some of the most important questions for contemporary radical political projects. What does "the body" mean, today, as a category of social/political action? What are the processes, institutional or anti-systemic, by which it is constituted? How do we dismantle the tools by which our bodies have been "enclosed" and collectively reclaim our capacity to govern them?"--Provided by publisher.
This book aims to bring together two movements - multiculturalism and anti- racism - which, though having aims in common, have been at arms length in the past. Differences of emphasis have meant that classroom practice has been the natural realm of multiculturalism, while anti-racism has been dissatisfied with an approach that accentuates life-style at the expense of challenging or changing the racism that minority students experience. In these debates, there has been a concentration on culturally specific topics and this book goes beyond national boundaries to find how international concerns and contexts might provide answers to problems faced in single countries. Leading figures in the USA, Canada, South Africa, the UK and Australasia write on the issues.
This book convincingly argues that effective culturally responsive pedagogies require teachers to firstly undertake a critical deconstruction of Self in relation to and with the Other; and secondly, to take into account how power affects the socio-political, cultural and historical contexts in which the education relation takes place. The contributing authors are from a range of diaspora, indigenous, and white mainstream communities, and are united in their desire to challenge the hegemony of Eurocentric education and to create new educational spaces that are more socially and environmentally just. In this venture, the ideal education process is seen to be inherently critical and intercultural, where mainstream and marginalized, colonized and colonizer, indigenous and settler communities work together to decolonize selves, teacher-student relationships, pedagogies, the curriculum and the education system itself. This book will be of great interest and relevance to policy-makers and researchers in the field of education; teacher educators; and pre- and in-service teachers.
Summary: "In an age of protest, culture and museums have come under fire. Protests of museum funding (for example, the Metropolitan Museum accepting Sackler family money) and boards (for example, the Whitney appointing tear gas manufacturer Warren Kanders) - to say nothing of demonstrations over exhibitions and artworks - have roiled cultural institutions across the world, from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi to the Akron Art Museum. At the same time, never have there been more calls for museums to work for social change, calls for the emergence of a new role for culture. As director of the Queens Museum, Laura Raicovich helped turn that New York municipal institution into a public commons for art and activism, organizing high-powered exhibitions that were also political protests. Then in January, 2018, she resigned, after a dispute with the Queens Museum board and city officials became a public controversy - she had objected to the Israeli government using the museum for an event featuring vice president Mike Pence. In this book, Raicovich explains some of the key museum flashpoints, and she also provides historical context for the current controversies. She shows how art museums arose as colonial institutions bearing an ideology of neutrality that masks their role in upholding capitalist values. And she suggests how museums can be reinvented to serve better, public ends."--Dust jacket.
These essays definitively argue that the decolonization of universities, through the re-examination of how knowledge is produced and taught, is only strengthened when connected to feminist and critical queer and gender perspectives. Concurrently, they make the compelling case that gender and feminist teaching can be enhanced and developed when open to its own decolonization.
"Anuradha Vikram's Decolonizing Culture is a collection of seventeen essays that address questions of race and gender parity in contemporary art spaces. Originally published between 2013 and 2017 through Daily Serving's #Hashtags column, Vikram's text considers the specifics of equality and representation in the context of current events in the field of arts and culture in the United States and internationally. The columns cover a number of racially charged incidents in arts institutions during this period that received significant press attention, but little meaningful analysis. Vikram examines how arts institutions construct space and select programming in accordance with their expectations of their audience, and how a disconnect between the realities of contemporary urban demographics and the leadership at many arts institutions has led to controversy and embarrassment on numerous occasions. Contrasting with these case studies in institutional exclusion are a number of profiles of artists and artworks that bring art's potential for inclusivity to fruition, working within institutions as well as outside of them to bring change"--Back cover.
To the colonized, the ways in which academic research has been implicated in the throes of imperialism remains a painful memory. This essential volume explores the ways in which imperialism is embedded in disciplines of knowledge, and argues that the decolonization of research methods will help reclaim the control over indigenous ways of knowing and being.
Summary: In the resistance to the violence of gender-based oppression, vibrant - but often ignored - worlds have emerged, full of nuance, humour, and beauty. Correcting a glaring omission of writing about contemporary feminist work by Canadian artists, Desire Change considers the resurgence of feminist art, thought, and practice in the past decade by examining artworks that respond to themes of diversity and desire. Essays by historians, artists, and curators present an overview of a range of artistic practices including performance, installation, video, textiles, and photography. Contributors address the desire for change through three central frames: how feminist art has significantly contributed to the complex understanding of gender as it intersects with sexuality and race; the necessary critique of patriarchy and institutions as they relate to colonization within the Canadian national-state; and the ways in which contemporary critiques are formed and expressed. The resulting collection addresses art through an activist lens to examine intersectional feminism, decolonization, and feminist institution building in a Canadian context. Heavily illustrated with representative works, Desire Change raises both the stakes and the concerns of contemporary feminist art, with an understanding that feminism is always and necessarily plural.--
Summary: Explores the decolonial through Western and non-Western thought concerning personal and social well-being. Drawing upon Jungian, people-of-color, and spiritual psychology alongside non-Western spiritual philosophies of the interdependence of all life-forms, she writes of the decolonial as an ongoing project rooted in love as an ideology to frame respectful coexistence of social and cultural diversity. In readings of art that includes self-portraits by Frida Kahlo, Ana Mendieta, and Yreina D. Cervántez, the drawings and paintings of Chilean American artist Liliana Wilson, and Favianna Rodriguez's screen-printed images, Pérez identifies art as one of the most valuable laboratories for creating, imagining, and experiencing new forms of decolonial thought. Such art expresses what Pérez calls eros ideologies: understandings of social and natural reality that foreground the centrality of respect and care of self and others as the basis for a more democratic and responsible present and future. Employing a range of writing styles and voices--from the poetic to the scholarly--Pérez shows how art can point to more just and loving ways of being.
Summary: Unaffordable housing, poverty wages, inadequate healthcare, border policing, climate change--these are not what you ordinarily hear feminists talking about. But aren't they the biggest issues for the vast majority of women around the globe? Taking as its inspiration the new wave of feminist militancy that has erupted globally, this manifesto makes a simple but powerful case: feminism shouldn't start--or stop--with the drive to have women represented at the top of their professions. It must focus on those at the bottom, and fight for the world they deserve. And that means targeting capitalism. Feminism must be anticapitalist, eco-socialist and antiracist
"This book has been published in the context of the curatorial and artistic research experiment FORMER WEST (2008-2016) developed by BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht and realized through manifold partnerships with artists, theorists, activists, as well as art and educational institutions transnationally."--Page 8.
Summary: ""The only way to undo racism is to consistently identify and describe it -- and then dismantle it." Ibram X. Kendi's concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America -- but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it. In this book, Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society."
"The Land We Are is a stunning collection of writing and art that interrogates the current era of reconciliation in Canada. Using visual, poetic, and theoretical language, the contributors approach reconciliation as a problematic narrative about Indigenous-settler relations, but also as a site where conversations about a just future must occur. The result of a four-year collaboration between artists and scholars engaged in resurgence and decolonization, The Land We Are is a moving dialogue that blurs the boundaries between activism, research, and the arts."--Publisher's website.
Summary: "The 2007 first edition of this book proposed that Indigenous feminism was a valid and indeed essential theoretical and activist position, and introduced a roster of important Indigenous feminist contributors. The book has been well received nationally and internationally. It has been deployed in Indigenous Studies, Law, Political Science, and Women and Gender Studies in universities and appears on a number of doctoral comprehensive exam reading lists. The second edition, Making More Space, builds on the success of its predecessor, but is not merely a reiteration of it. Some chapters from the first edition are largely revised. A majority of the chapters are new, written for the second edition by important new scholars and activists. The second edition is more confident and less diffident about making the case for Indigenous feminism and in deploying a feminist analysis. The chapters cover issues that are relevant to some of the most important issues facing Indigenous people--violence against women, recovery of Indigenous self-determination, racism, misogyny, and decolonisation. Specifically, new chapters deal with Indigenous resurgence, feminism amongst the Sami and in Aboriginal Australia, neoliberal restructuring in Oaxaca, Canada's settler racism and sexism, and missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada."
Walter D. Mignolo and Catherine E. Walsh explore the hidden forces of the colonial matrix of power, its origination, transformation, and current presence, while asking the crucial questions of decoloniality: how, what, why, with whom, and what for. Interweaving theory-praxis with local histories and perspectives of struggle, they illustrate the conceptual and analytic dynamism of decolonial ways of living and thinking, as well as the creative force of resistance and re-existence. This book speaks to the urgency of these times, encourages delinkings from the colonial matrix of power and its universals of Western modernity and global capitalism, and engages with arguments and struggles for dignity and life against death, destruction, and civilizational despair.
Summary: Traditional Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or Chippewa) knowledge, like the knowledge systems of Indigenous peoples around the world, has long been collected and presented by researchers who were not a part of the culture they observed. The result is a "colonized" version of the knowledge, one that is distorted and trivialized by an ill-suited Eurocentric paradigm of scientific investigation and classification. In Our Knowledge Is Not Primitive, Wendy Makoons Geniusz contrasts the way in which Anishinaabe botanical knowledge is presented in the academic record with how it is preserved in Anishinaabe culture. In doing so she seeks to open a dialogue between the two communities to discuss methods for decolonizing existing texts and to develop innovative approaches for conducting more culturally meaningful research in the future. As an Anishinaabe who grew up in a household practicing traditional medicine and who went on to earn a doctorate and become a professional scholar, Geniusz possesses the authority of someone with a foot firmly planted in each world. Her unique ability to navigate both Indigenous and scientific perspectives makes this book an invaluable contribution to the field and enriches our understanding of all Native communities.
Summary: The collision of activism and contemporary art, from the Seattle protests to Occupy and beyond Activist art experienced a new beginning in the Seattle anti-globalization protests of 1999, reaching a zenith over a decade later with Occupy Wall Street, a movement initiated in part by artist-activists, and structured around creative direct actions and iconic imagery for the social media age. In parts of the mainstream art world, radical ideas were gaining traction over the same period, but remained confined within its institutional apparatus. Art critic Yates McKee recounts these parallel histories and their collisions, highlighting the limitations and complicities of the art world, and reviving the notion of art as an emancipatory practice woven into political struggle, whether around issues of debt, climate justice or police violence. Strike Art!'s claim is that Occupy fundamentally changed the horizon of contemporary art, whether or not the art world knows it yet.
Summary: The Jamaican writer and cultural theorist Sylvia Wynter is best known for her diverse writings that pull together insights from theories in history, literature, science, and black studies, to explore race, the legacy of colonialism, and representations of humanness. Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis is a critical genealogy of Wynter's work, highlighting her insights on how race, location, and time together inform what it means to be human. The contributors explore Wynter's stunning reconceptualization of the human in relation to concepts of blackness, modernity, urban space, the Caribbean, science studies, migratory politics, and the interconnectedness of creative and theoretical resistances. The collection includes an extensive conversation between Sylvia Wynter and Katherine McKittrick that delineates Wynter's engagement with writers such as Frantz Fanon, W. E. B. DuBois, and Aimé Césaire, among others; the interview also reveals the ever-extending range and power of Wynter's intellectual project, and elucidates her attempts to rehistoricize humanness as praxis.
Summary: In Teaching Critical Thinking, renowned cultural critic and progressive educator bell hooks addresses some of the most compelling issues facing teachers in and out of the classroom today. In a series of short, accessible, and enlightening essays, hooks explores the confounding and sometimes controversial topics that teachers and students have urged her to address since the publication of the previous best-selling volumes in her Teaching series, Teaching to Transgress and Teaching Community. The issues are varied and broad, from whether meaningful teaching can take place in a large classroom setting to confronting issues of self-esteem. One professor, for example, asked how black female professors can maintain positive authority in a classroom without being seen through the lens of negative racist, sexist stereotypes. One teacher asked how to handle tears in the classroom, while another wanted to know how to use humor as a tool for learning. Addressing questions of race, gender, and class in this work, hooks discusses the complex balance that allows us to teach, value, and learn from works written by racist and sexist authors. Highlighting the importance of reading, she insists on the primacy of free speech, a democratic education of literacy. Throughout these essays, she celebrates the transformative power of critical thinking. This is provocative, powerful, and joyful intellectual work. It is a must read for anyone who is at all interested in education today. - Publisher.
Summary: "Unsettled Expectations is a critical multi-site ethnography that examines conflict over Indigenous land rights in Canada and the United States as a lens through which to understand historical and ongoing relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in settler colonies. The goal of the research is to try to understand the lived practices and discourses of people defending and countering indigenous land rights--as a grounded point of departure to examine the limits and possibilities of decolonization. It uses an interdisciplinary approach including: ethnographic interviews with participants in land claims in Ontario and New York state; historical analyses (not only of the Enlightenment philosophies on which "settler certainties" depend, but also of the legal systems that derive from these philosophies); and theoretical analysis drawn especially from settler colonial studies, on the foundational ideologies--and illusions--on which settler states are built and by which Indigenous peoples and ways of being are discredited. The goal of the book is to invite readers into a rethinking of the legal and philosophical assumptions that feed conflicts between settlers and Indigenous peoples over the rights of (living on) the land. It hoped to generate understandings of where the widespread assumption of settler certainty comes from, why it is ultimately a doomed fantasy, and why a self-reflexive engagement with uncertainty is necessary to any process of decolonization."--publisher's description
The World in a Grain of Sand offers a framework for reading literature from the global South that goes against the grain of dominant theories in cultural studies, especially, postcolonial theory. It critiques the valorization of the local in cultural theories typically accompanied by a rejection of universal categories - viewed as Eurocentric projections. But the privileging of the local usually amounts to an exercise in exoticization of the South. The book argues that the rejection of Eurocentric theories can be complemented by embracing another, richer and non-parochial form of universalism. Through readings of texts from India, Sri Lanka, Palestine and Egypt, the book shows that the fine grained engagement with culture, the mapping of ordinary lives not just as objects but subjects of their history, is embedded in much of postcolonial literature in a radical universalism - one that is rooted in local realities, but is able to unearth in them the needs, conflicts and desires that stretch across cultures and time. It is a universalism recognized by Marx and steeped in the spirit of anti-colonialism, but hostile to any whiff of exoticism.
The following articles were selected by Parvin Peivandi as part of the EDI Researcher-in-Residence program in the fall of 2022.
The artist has been working with the new concepts of chaos theory and fractal geometry as a conceptual transformation--a new way to view nature, space and form--and as a liberation from the confines of Euclidean geometries in art. The artist compares the potential artistic importance of chaos theory and fractal geometry with important events in Western art history--the Renaissance and the birth of Modern Art--can be directly linked with the concurrent appearance of new geometries. The artist proposes that new geometric views in the world my be a key catalyst for artistic developments. Within this context, the new geometric vision of chaos theory and fractal geometry may give rise to another major innovation in art.
The article discusses the 1950s-1960s work of Colombian artists Edgar Negret and Eduardo Ramírez-Villamizar, whose work in New York City influences abstract geometric art in Colombia. The author focuses on Negret's "Magic Machines" sculpture and relief series and Ramírez-Villamizar's "White Reliefs" series. Specific topics include the abstract expressionist movement in New York City, the Coenties Slip group of artists, 1960s exhibitions of abstract art in New York City and Bogotá, Colombia, and other abstract artists including Ellsworth Kelly and Louise Nevelson.
As one of many efforts by midcentury African American painters to reinvent abstraction and transform it into a more pluralistic cultural practice, Hale Woodruff’s six-panel mural for Atlanta University, The Art of the Negro (1950–51), offers a visual history of transcontinental art that freely mingles Western and non-Western art, ancient and modern cultures, and abstract and figural forms. The series unsettles and destabilizes conventional and linear histories of modernism not only by demonstrating its stylistic and demographic diversity but also by revealing the complexity of the encounters between its practitioners and the non-Western arts from which they drew inspiration.
Minimalism in architecture contains the idea of the minimum as a leading creative tend to be considered and interpreted in working through phenomena of empathy and abstraction. In the Western culture, the root of this idea is found in empathy of Wilhelm Worringer and abstraction of Kasimir Malevich. In his dissertation, 'Abstraction and Empathy' Worringer presented his thesis on the psychology of style through which he explained the two opposing basic forms: abstraction and empathy. His conclusion on empathy as a psychological basis of observation expression is significant due to the verbal congruence with contemporary minimalist expression. His intuition was enhenced furthermore by figure of Malevich. Abstraction, as an expression of inner unfettered inspiration, has played a crucial role in the development of modern art and architecture of the twentieth century. Abstraction, which is one of the basic methods of learning in psychology (separating relevant from irrelevant features), Carl Jung is used to discover ideas. Minimalism in architecture emphasizes the level of abstraction to which the individual functions are reduced. Different types of abstraction are present: in the form as well as function of the basic elements: walls and windows. The case study is an example of Sou Fujimoto who is unequivocal in its commitment to the autonomy of abstract conceptualization of architecture.
The article focuses on the genealogy of minimalism. It states that "Art and Objecthood," by Michael Fried was successful in connecting the theatricality of Robert Morris to Donald Judd's derivation from modernist painting. It suggests that the troubles posed by John Cage to Fried and minimalism were related. Significant implications of Cage's work were discussed. The analysis made by Hal Foster regarding minimalism is presented.
In the 1970s, choreographer Lucinda Childs developed a reductive form of abstraction based on graphic representations of her dance material, walking, and a specific approach towards its embodiment. If her work has been described through the prism of minimalism, this case study on Calico Mingling (1973) proposes a different perspective. Based on newly available archival documents in Lucinda Childs’s papers, it traces how track drawing, the planimetric representation of path across the floor, intersected with minimalist aesthetics. On the other hand, it elucidates Childs’s distinctive use of literacy in order to embody abstraction. In this respect, the choreographer’s approach to both dance company and dance technique converge at different influences, in particular modernism and minimalism, two parallel histories which have been typically separated or opposed.
Over the span of more than fifty years, the Sudanese American and Chicago-based artist Amir Nour has created sculptures that reflect his remarkable ability to integrate methods, techniques, forms, and ideas that draw from his diverse experiences as a diasporic person. Nour was born in Shendi, an ancient city on the bank of the Nile River, and enrolled as a student at the College of Fine and Applied Arts in Khartoum in the mid-1950s. From the late 1950s to mid-1960s he trained at the Slade School of Fine Art and the Royal College of Art in London, later earning his PhD in African art in 2006 from the University of St Andrews, Scotland. Formative experiences for his art were his exposure to the diversity of Sudanese visual culture, arts, crafts, and landscape through annual trips to various parts of the country organized by the College of Fine and Applied Arts; the Western modernist tradition of figurative sculpture; and the work of many non-Western artists and art students he met in the United Kingdom. Nour's artistic development portrays an artist deeply engaged with the shifting social, political, and cultural ground beneath his feet. The result has been a remarkable body of sculpture that speaks of a cosmopolitan vision in which several traditions collide to create a new visual language combining African-derived forms with a minimalist aesthetic. The new works and the archival material included in the retrospective exhibition Amir Nour: Brevity Is the Soul of Wit, organized by the Sharjah Art Foundation November 2016 to January 2017, attests to Nour's sophistication and rigor as an artist and asserts his contributions to the canon of art history, not only as a transformational figure within Sudanese or African art movements, but also within global modern and contemporary art history. As Barthosa Nkurumeh once said, in Nour's works one senses a "timelessness," which "transcends the cultural space that inspired their evolution."
An essay is presented on the art movement Minimalism. It discusses the role of patronage in the movement and the origin of the Dia Art Foundation (Dia). Information about the intent of Dia to help fund art projects is provided and artists mentioned in the essay include Ad Reinhardt and Frank Stella. The art collector Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo is also mentioned and specific art commissions are described.
The 1960s were undoubtedly the most culturally productive period in the contemporary history of Iran. During these years, artistic trends as well as art historical practices attempted to present the idea of national art, while the intellectual atmosphere was charged with the conflicting ideologies of the Cold War. The Pahlavi state's cultural policies, based on its pro-Western and at the same time nationalist visions, were in contrast with most intellectuals' attitudes towards art, which mainly followed leftist ideologies. Within such an ideologically charged space, the idea of combining Euro-American modernism and traditional views formed the dominant discourse of modern Iranian art. This article maps the interconnections among artists, art historians and cultural custodians in 1960s Iran, and explores the ways in which nationalist, nativist, modernist and communist-Marxist ideologies influenced the artistic trends as well as art historical narratives. After focusing on the ways art history was introduced through Orientalist viewpoints in Iran, the article will shed light on the role of visual artists within the intellectual community of the 1960s. The idea of ‘national art’, epitomised in the movements of Saqqa khanih and Talar-i Iran, will then be analysed. Finally, the article will evaluate these artistic activities within their ideological framework.
The expectations modern art has to fulfill are of various kind. Modern art is to be a seismograph of societal developments and thus sensitive to political and economic themes. Thus, Western (critical) contemporary art is in the dilemma to deal with and challenge capitalism in mostly bourgeois frameworks of musealized exhibitions, criticizing political leadership and social inequalities and presenting it largely to exactly the established classes. Here contemporary art's task lies in both the individual and arts self-reflection and self-critique. Creating awareness of individual and collective historical processes and being able to sense and experience societal antagonisms can be described as conscious making by the means of critical modern art. Taking in account that to learn (socio-historically) art and thus to be able to sense dissonances is a pre-condition to understand modern art the question arises: How to deal with contemporary art from foreign cultures and unfamiliar civilizations? How to understand Asian critical contemporary art with a Western sensual kind of sensing and understanding? It is the question of universality and uniqueness of modern art and/or the integrating power of Western capitalism and consumerism within the sphere of critical art. Is it possible to sense and understand Chinese or Japanese art with a Western education and different socio-historical and political-economical understanding? How to decipher and contextualize modern art without "cultural expertise"? This contribution deals with the contradictions between the (cultural) particular and the general serving as gatekeepers for sensing societal and historical grown antagonisms and sensing of cultural and social dissonances in modern art production. Is modern art by definition Western? By experiencing Asian modern art the purpose of this research is to find the particularities and the general of (Asian) critical modern art.
The article reviews the exhibition "Dada Africa, Non-Western Sources and Influences" at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris, France from October 18, 2017 through February 19, 2018, featuring the influence of African and other traditional arts on the World War I era art movement.
The article focuses on the paintings and drawings of Ed Moses from the U.S. In general, Moses oscillate between the figurative and the abstract, thereby creating work that might be regarded as a representation of abstraction. Details on Moses' earlier work to American Indian art are also considered in the article.
This article examines the emergence of Lyrical Abstraction in Brazil in the late 1950s. Mostly forgotten in the contemporary moment in favour of Geometric Abstraction, the author reconsiders the rivalry between these two forms of abstract art and the influence on European styles of Art Informel and Tachisme. Lyrical Abstraction was predominantly practiced by Japanese immigrants in Brazil, and as a result the artists and their art challenged the category of national art as formed by European colonisation. Through the case study of Japanese Brazilian artist Manabu Mabe, the author argues for Lyrical Abstraction as a transnational art that brings together Japanese, European and Brazilian influences. Brazilian lyrical abstraction disorders the idea of national art as defined only in contrast to the international, the typical binary throughout the history of Brazilian modern art.
The growing disjuncture between the diversity of art practices and the narrow focus of canonical art histories has prompted art historians to pronounce the death of art history. And yet very little has changed because the modernist canon still dominates global art. The western avant-garde continues to be a closed discourse, writing the art of Asia, Africa and Latin America out of art history. Marginalization of non-western art is explained in terms of its 'derivativeness'. And yet there have been significant developments in non-western art since the 20th century, many of its artists engaged in creating vital modernist expressions of cultural resistance to colonialism. We need to probe more closely the epistemological framework that fuels the 'universalist' claims of the western canon. Even though western avant-garde has inspired the rest of the world, it is still dominated by the universalism that creates asymmetrical relations between the centre and the peripheries, which is not one of geography but of power and authority, with modernism creating its own tacit exclusions and inclusions. Hence borrowings of primitive art by western artists such as Picasso are judged as mere affinities, unlike the use of the syntax of cubism by non-western artists, which is seen as the influence of the West. This paper proposes certain strategies for 'decentring' the dominant canon. An inflected narrative of global modernity offers us a possible way of restoring the artist's agency in the context of colonial empires, by analysing art practices and reception as a cultural document that is historically situated.
Early modern Indian art moves between a return to images of the past that express Indian difference from the colonizer and imitation of Western styles of modernity. On the one hand, early modern Indian art is characterized by a desire for a return to the past and the utopian urge to suture the divisions between present and past, elite and subaltern, and museum and street corner. On the other hand, it reveals a need to reach out to Europe in an ongoing act of “imitation.” This neocolonial condition of imitation has nothing utopian about it, being the condition of life.