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Courting Blakness

Recalibrating Knowledge in the Sandstone University

Courting Blakness by Fiona Foley
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A celebration of ‘Courting Blakness’, a groundbreaking exhibition of contemporary Indigenous art In September 2014, Adjunct Professor Fiona Foley and a team of eight Aboriginal artists delivered a cutting-edge installation to the sandstone heart of the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus – the Great Court. Universities have traditionally been elite institutions, isolated and dissociated from the concerns of Indigenous people. For generations, the contributions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander thinkers, activists and artists have been invisible or undervalued in our universities. This history is etched into the walls of the Great Court, with anachronistic concepts of humanity and racial difference revealed in many of the friezes and sculptural reliefs. The Courting Blakness exhibition aimed to reclaim this historically white space, to create a visual dialogue between contemporary Aboriginal art and colonial-inspired architecture. Students and other members of the university community, as well as the general public, were invited to re-engage with the Great Court through conversations about issues that matter to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Comprising beautiful images and essays by the artists, curators and academics who presented at the associated symposium, Courting Blackness: Recalibrating Knowledge in the Sandstone University is a stylish and comprehensive tribute to this innovative project.
University of Queensland Press; April 2016
208 pages; ISBN 9780702256295
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Title: Courting Blakness
Author: Fiona Foley; Louise Martin-Chew; Fiona Nicoll
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