The Culture Game

The Culture Game

The Culture Game

The Culture Game

Synopsis

In self-congratulatory tones of tolerance, the Western gatekeepers of the contemporary art world take great pains to demonstrate their inclusive vision of world culture. Non-Western artists soon discover that this veneer of liberalism masks an array of unwritten, unspoken, and unseemly codes and quotas dictating the success of their careers. In past decades, cultural institutions in the West resisted difference; today, they are obsessed with exoticism. Both attitudes reflect entrenched prejudices that prescribe the rules of what Nigerian-born artist, curator, and scholar Olu Oguibe terms the "culture game." Book jacket.

Excerpt

THE CULTURE GAME brings together thirteen essays, notes, and interviews that represent select aspects of my contributions to debates on culture and theory, especially in the visual arts, over the past ten years. Many of the essays have proved significant and had considerable influence on the appreciation of contemporary art in recent years. Others have generated unforeseen controversy. Many have appeared in diverse publications over these years, and are on the required or recommended reading lists of several humanities and social-sciences programs in America and Europe. The Culture Game is aimed in part at making them available in one convenient volume.

The idea is to present these writings as a body of work that, though evidently evolving, remains consistent and measured in its critical and uncompromising scrutiny of the structures and institutions of contemporary cultural politics, especially as seen from the point of view of a practitioner and participant whose traditional place is not the center or dominant platform of global cultural discourse. The essays address some of the key questions that have held my attention over these years, among them the disparities and inconsistencies that characterize contemporary culture brokerage; the difficulties these inconsistencies throw in the way of non-Western and minority artists, especially those who live and practice in the Western metropolis; and the nature and peculiar concerns of contemporary non-Western art, especially as it deals with the ramifications and residues of the colonial encounter, as well as its own historical and cultural past.

Despite the myth of civility usually associated with the arena of culture, contemporary art is nevertheless a theater for an elaborate game of maneuvers in which institutions, patrons, brokers, and promoters peddle not only art but the careers, loyalties, and fortunes of artists also. Between visibility/success and obscurity/failure, artists in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.