Book Chapter

Indigenising the Australian Artworld: National Culture and State Sovereignty

Ian McLean

The Australian Art Field: Practices, Policies, Institutions | Routledge | Published : 2020


In the 1990s, Indigenous art, once the antithesis of Australian national culture, became its brand. Given the history of colonialism in Australia, it was a big story that tempted many. The most substantial scholarship has been interdisciplinary. Ranging beyond the usual confines of art history, it produced a beguiling prism that refracted a kaleidoscope of cultural collisions, artworld transformations, national renovation and global currents. Does it also, to borrow from the anthropologist Howard Morphy, refract a world history of national cultures and their artworlds, thereby bringing into focus their conceptual origins and ideological work?

University of Melbourne Researchers