Cornell University

Jolene Rickard, "Indigenous Thought Recentering the World"

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 4:45pm

Lewis Auditorium Goldwin Smith Hall

2017 ICM Lecture Series:

Jolene Rickard

Associate Professor, Art & History of Art and Visual Studies; 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.

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

Event Type



Institute for Comparative Modernities (ICM), Art, History of Art and Visual Studies, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, Sustainability




Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Catherine Clepper

Contact Phone



Jolene Rickard

Speaker Affiliation

Cornell University

Open To

the public

Google Calendar iCal Outlook

Recent Activity