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Remote Avant-Garde


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction. The Imperative to Experiment 1

1. Humanitarian Imperialism 21

Part I. Biliteracies

2. Tangentyere Artists 41

3. June Walkutjukurr Richards 77

4. Rhonda Unurupa Dick 91

Part II. Hapticities

5. Tjanpi Desert Weavers 109

6. Warnayaka Art: Yurlpa 139

7. Yarrenyty Arltere Artists 159

Part III. Happenings

8. Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route 181

9. The Warburton Arts Project 197

Epilogue: (Not) a "Lifestyle Choice" 217

Notes 221

Further Resources 233

References 235

Index 257

About the Author

Jennifer Loureide Biddle is Director of Visual Anthropology & Visual Culture and Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute for Experimental Arts at the University of New South Wales. She is the author of Breasts, Bodies, Canvas: Central Desert Art as Experience.


"[W]ith a breathtaking focus on the new, the emergent, the hybrid and the innovative (213), the book's artworks, and the writing itself, bristle with energy.... This is a refreshingly sensitive and nuanced account that is a must-read not only for those interested in the specificities of emerging Indigenous artistic traditions in the Northern Territory and elsewhere, but also for those interested in the ongoing political, cultural and economic processes of so-called 'settler' societies across Australia and beyond."
-- Peter Kilroy * LSE Review of Books *
"Remote Avant-Garde: Aboriginal Art under Occupation, by Jennifer Loureide Biddle, is a welcome addition to the literature on Indigenous Australian art, and more broadly to anthropologies of art, Indigenous Australia, and global Indigenous arts and aesthetics. I heartily recommend it to anyone in those fields, and would happily teach with it in anthropology, art history, art/artworlds, and museum studies." -- Sabra G. Thorner * Anthropological Quarterly *
"Jennifer Loureide Biddle has dared to deal with a daunting, dazzling array of 'remote' art in its multiple forms and complex contexts. The result is a profound, far from dispassionate book which does justice to an extraordinary canon of art." -- Noelene Cole * Journal of Anthropological Research *
"Remote Avant-Garde brilliantly revitalizes the literature on Aboriginal art by attending to fascinating experimental art practices and a fresh aesthetics emerging in remote Aboriginal communities. . . . [It] should be read not only by scholars interested in Aboriginal art but also anyone wanting to understand creative forms of political agency in colonial and postcolonial contexts." -- Rosita Henry * American Anthropologist *

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