Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA) is pleased to announce its latest publication Sovereign Words. Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism (OCA / Valiz, 2018).
• What will the new histories of the arts of Indigenous practitioners look, feel and sound like?
• A first of its kind reader of Indigenous voices that charts perspectives and strategies from the disciplines of art and film, ethics and history, theory and the museological field, from across four continents.
'I am confident that echoes of Sovereign Words. Indigenous Art, Curation and Criticism will assist in strengthening existing collaborations and lead to new and ground-breaking connections where mutual respect and learning will become the norm when exchanging with First Nations ways of life.'
– Brook Andrew, artist and Artistic Director of the 22nd Biennale of Sydney, 2020
Artists and cultural practitioners from Indigenous communities around the world are increasingly in the international spotlight. As museums and curators race to consider the planetary reach of their art collections and exhibitions, this publication draws upon the challenges faced today by cultural workers, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, to engage meaningfully and ethically with the histories, presents and futures of Indigenous cultural practices and world-views.
Sixteen Indigenous voices convene to consider some of the most burning questions of our time. How will novel methodologies of word/voice-crafting be constituted to empower the Indigenous discourses of the future? Is it sufficient to expand the Modernist art-historical canon through the politics of inclusion? Is this broadening a new form of colonisation, or does it foster the cosmopolitan-ness of thought that Indigenous communities have always inhabited? To whom does the much talked-of ‘Indigenous Turn’ belong? Does it represent a hegemonic project of introspection and revision, in the face of today’s ecocidal, genocidal and existential crises?
A first of its kind reader of Indigenous voices, Sovereign Words charts perspectives across art and film, ethics and history, theory and the museological field. With the canonical power systems of the international art world increasingly under fire today, the book makes a concerted bid for knowledge building and intellectual alliances that will frame the cultural and artistic processes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous futures.
Edited by: Katya García-Antón (Director and Chief Curator, Office for Contemporary Art Norway)
Contributors: Daniel Browning, Kabita Chakma, Megan Cope, Santosh Kumar Das, Hannah Donnelly, Léuli Māzyār Luna’i Eshrāghi, David Garneau, Biung Ismahasan, Kimberley Moulton, Máret Ánne Sara, Venkat Raman Singh Shyam, Irene Snarby, Ánde Somby, Megan Tamati-Quennell, Prashanta Tripura, Sontosh Bikash Tripura. Section introductions written collaboratively by Liv Brissach, Katya García-Antón, Drew Snyder and Nikhil Vettukattil.
Authors in this publication first convened for public presentations under the third iteration of OCA’s Critical Writing Ensembles at the Dhaka Art Summit in February 2018, organized with the support of the Dhaka Art Summit, Samdani Art Foundation, Art Space Sydney and the Australian Council for the Arts.
Dr Biung Ismahasan (b.1984) is an educator, INDEPENDENT curator, community FACILITATOR and researcher from the Bunun, Atayal and Kanakanavu Nations, three of Taiwan’s sixteen Indigenous Nations.