Publication Details

McLean, I. A. "Surviving 'The Contemporary': What Indigenous artists want, and how to get it." Contemporary Visual Art + Culture Broadsheet 42 .3 (2013): 167-173.

Link to publisher version (URL)

Broadsheet 42. - CACSA


There is nothing mysterious about what indigenous artists want. They want the same thing as most people: a fair slice of the pie. How to get it, is a much more difficult question to answer. To even find a seat at the table, indigenous art has to first be accepted as contemporary art. This has been its defining struggle in the modern era. The problem, at least until recently, was that the Western tradition of modernism circumscribed the terms of contemporary art. This meant that indigenous artists had first to prove their modernity, a Catch-22 game that they could never win without disavowing their indigeneity.