Category Archives: Anthropology

Lives of the Artist: Patrick Tjungurrayi by John Carty

Readers who followed this blog for a long time know already of my admiration for John Carty’s work.  John is an anthropologist trained at the Australian National University under Howard Morphy.  He has long had an interest in art history, … Continue reading

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Video Culture / Museum Culture

A pair of new exhibitions opened this past week at the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum.  One extends established queries about the nature of objects stored in museums and their relationships to the people they purport to represent.  The other makes … Continue reading

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Explicating Bark Painting

Two years ago, during the turning of 2011 into 2012, I took my customary holiday break from serious thinking and produced a pair of posts in which I looked back at what I thought to be some of the core … Continue reading

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Inside and Outside: an essay

Several weeks ago I wrote about a panel discussion at the Toledo Museum of Art in which the topic of restricted knowledge in Aboriginal painting—what Stephen Gilchrist referred to as “registers of knowledge”—created a degree of consternation among some members … Continue reading

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The Lake Where Cultures Meet

A desert lake.  Paruku.  Lake Gregory. This is the place where the ancestral hero, Kiki, came down from the east, a falling star.  Landed in the water and created seeds, grapes, bandicoot, and blue-tongued lizard. This is the place where … Continue reading

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The Poetry of Geography

I grew up near the ocean.  For the first eighteen years of my life a twenty-minute walk would bring me to docks and lapping waves, sand and seaweed and salt air.  I didn’t know how much a part of me … Continue reading

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Larrakirtj: Encyclopedia of the Yolngu

On our first trip to Australia in 1990, still largely ignorant of Aboriginal art (despite the trip being inspired in large part by the Dreamings exhibition seen at the Asia Society in New York CIty two years earlier), we hit … Continue reading

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