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Sunday, April 1 • 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Curating in Context: Representing Cultural Significance in Library Exhibitions

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Moderator: Allison Jai O'Dell, Free Public Library of Philadelphia


Arthur Smith, Royal Ontario Museum & Pearce J. Carefoote, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. "Diverse Cultural Voice: Issues of Cultural Sensitivity in Displaying Special Collections"

Steven Loft, Trudeau Visiting Fellow, Ryerson University Scholar-in-Residence, Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre. "Close Encounters: Curating Indigenous Art"

This session asks questions about cultural contexts in curatorial practice.  Drawing from examples at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, Smith and Carefoot will focus on the challenges presented to curators of exhibitions resulting from political, cultural, and religious considerations when choosing items for display from Special Collections.  They will illustrate how images from Special Collections can spark demonstrations and public outrage.  For instance, what does one do when a work of literature veers into the realm of pornography?  How does one critique images that represent domination and imperialism?  When is a photograph an accurate portrayal or a fabrication of history? 

 Steven Loft, speaking from an art historian's perspective, will discuss how Euro-Western art historical methodologies do not adequately contextualize, or realize, Indigenous artists' aesthetic and cultural imperatives.  He will delve into new, divergent, innovative, creative, and sometimes radical curatorial practices and scholarship.  Loft will explain how a wider discourse that includes critical, epistemological, and pedagogical concerns must be engaged in if there is to be an integration (not assimilation) of Indigenous art into the larger milieu.

Supported by the ARLIS/NA Alternative Voices Fun

Sunday April 1, 2012 2:45pm - 3:45pm EDT
Sheraton Hall C Sheraton Centre

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