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Jolene Rickard, “Indigenous Thought Recentering the World”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 - 4:45pm

Lewis Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall
ICM Lecture Series

Associate Professor, Department of Art and Department of History of Art & Visual Studies, Cornell University
Director, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, Cornell University

What does showing up on the art scene represent for Indigenous artists in Australia and the Americas, the Maori in New Zealand, and the Sami in Finland, Norway, Russian Federation and Sweden?
Looking across a range of exhibitions globally, a complicated view of Indigenous experiences emerges in the renewed era of racism and colonialism. This artwork exposes both internal priorities and external observations though a matrix of thought shuttling between the 'bush' in northern Canada to the artistic rise of the Sami.

Is there value in considering internal nation-state and Indigenous relationships on the global scene through artistic expression?  It has been ten years since the 2007 adoption of Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the United Nations. What, if any connection to ‘rights’ do Indigenous peoples have in a shifting international political terrain post-UNDRIP? What does art from Indigenous peoples tell us about the ongoing conditions of coloniality globally? Does it matter if Indigenous artists are included in international exhibitions but rendered invisible as discrete cultural and political spaces?

The Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) dedicated 2017 to "indigenous art and thought" while honoring the 100th Sami Jubilee with numerous exhibitions. The 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada has issued a "call to action," for the Indigenous arts community to develop a framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration including, "amending the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representation…” and the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian is about to open it's newest iteration of thought simply titled, AMERICANS, fall 2017.

These developments and recent Indigenous artistic pulse points will be considered including Candice Hopkin’s curatorial work for documenta 14 in Greece (8 April - 16 July 2017), the exhibition “Jimmie Durham: At the Center of the World” at the Whitney Museum (November 3,2017-January 28, 2018), Lisa Reihana's "Emissaries" representing the New Zealand Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and Ngahiraka Mason’s curatorial intervention for the inaugural Honolulu Biennial 2017 on the theme “Middle of Now | Here” (March 8 to May 8, 2017). Unexpected Indigenous views emerge by looking at art covering a range of topics from recovering land-based practices to challenging on-going colonialism.

Jolene Rickard, Ph.D. is an associate professor in the Departments of Art History & Visual Studies, Art, and the Director of the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program at Cornell University. A selection of publications include: Fair Trade Heads: A Conversation on Repatriation and Indigenous Peoples with Maria Thereza Alves, Candice Hopkins and Jolene Rickard; “Arts of Dispossession,” From Tierra del Fuego to the Artic: Landscape Painting in the Americas, Art Gallery of Ontario and Yale University Press, 2015; The Emergence of Global Indigenous Art, Sakahan, National Gallery of Canada, 2013; "Visualizing Sovereignty in the Time of Biometric Sensors," The South Atlantic Quarterly 110:2, 2011. Recent projects include the launch of a new journal on Global Indigenous Art with the Banff Centre for the Arts, 2018, appointment as a member of the Initiative For Indigenous Futures (, and appointment to to the editorial board of the American Art Journal. Professor Rickard will  present at the Race, Racism & Xenophobia in a Global Context III at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium in November 2017. At Cornell, she is in the graduate fields for History of Art, Art, and American Indian and Indigenous Studies. As a Tuscarora - the sixth nation of the Haudenosaunee – she respectfully acknowledges the homelands of the Cayuga Nation, upon which Cornell University is located.

This event is free and open to the public. If you need accommodations to participate in this event, please contact as soon as possible.

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