History of Art and Architecture

Colloquium - Richard Hylton

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 12:00pm

Room 202 | Frick Fine Arts Building

READING THE CONTEMPORARY: Reflections on Contemporary Art within the Ethnographic Museum

Black and White Digital Print by Carrie WeemsScholars have, for some time now, been opening up debates about the politics and problems surrounding ethnographic collections and displays in western museums. Precious little attention however has been paid to the consequences and implications of contemporary art being added to what are often already very problematic environments. What function does contemporary art serve within already culturally charged museum contexts, particularly when raced artists are used in such endeavors?  Using the British Museum as a primary case study, this talk considers a relatively unexplored aspect of contemporary art’s role within the ethnographic context. 

Image credit: Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled, 2006