215 Chapters
Medium 9780253006875

11. Undisciplined Knowledge

Joanna Grabski Indiana University Press ePub


This chapter explores the possibility of art-writing occupying a space that is “undisciplined,” where it resists categorization and translation into the domain of art history. We propose that such a space is enabled not only through dialogue but also by recognizing the multi-sited character of art-making and the effects that its movement, politics, and social relations can have on writing about and framing contemporary art. Constructed as a series of exchanges between the two of us, this chapter builds on the contingencies and temporal qualities of its own making; we tack back and forth, betraying and probing our own disciplinary biases in an effort to meet in the middle. The chapter is defined by its process, which, despite its mix of anecdotes, external references, and tentative offerings, is not an example of the undisciplined per se, but rather an exploration of its possibilities.

Purpura: In February 2008, I attended a conference at Harvard University, “New Geographies of Contemporary African Art,” in which artist Allan deSouza was asked to present a paper on his work that was written by a scholar who, the audience was told, was unable to attend the conference. What follows is an excerpt from deSouza's presentation.

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Medium 9780253340481

Chapter Three Aunt Yetta’s Magic

Samuel S. Bak Indiana University Press ePub
Medium 9780253013873

2 Zombie Demographics

Edward P Comentale Indiana University Press ePub

listen: there’s a hell / of a good universe next door; let’s go.

e. e. cummings, “pity this busy monster, manunkind”

The first is marked by a silhouetted human form, shambling along the interface between earth and sky; a head flops to one side. In a word: zombie! A corpse that doesn’t know it’s dead, as George A. Romero defined the concept, a concept he still refuses to name out loud. “A Zombie being a corpse that won’t give in and admit it,” reads the communiqué in Pacific Islands Monthly from the outermost rim, even earlier, arriving right after V-J Day (49). The uplink from Zombieville reports that “the sea is flat, an opaque disc of green-blue . . . without as much as a ripple to mar its mirrored surface” (49). The second horizon is more familiar: the churchyard at dusk, after the three-hour drive, where Johnny spots a “huddled figure in the distance up on the mounded hill walking among the graves.”

JOHN: They’re coming for you, Barbra.

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Medium 9780253015754

4. When Stars Collide: Lady Gaga and the Pirating of a Globalized Persona

Noah A. Tsika Indiana University Press ePub


Despite Tonto Dikeh’s boastful claims of complete autonomy, star-making remains a collaborative process. So, of course, do attempts to dramatize individual star personae. In 2011, several of the talents behind the BlackBerry Babes trilogy reunited for a project called Lady Gaga.1 As he had done with film pitches dating back to the days of The Celebrity, Sylvester Obadigie wrote a treatment—a prose story that would serve as the basis of a screenplay; Ubong Bassey Nya, who would eventually pen that screenplay, signed on to direct; and Oge Okoye, who had played Damisa in BlackBerry Babes and Return of BlackBerry Babes, signed on to star. The celebrated trio was back—only this time they were committed to cribbing from the life of Lady Gaga. Knowing that they would need not only trusted colleagues but also the kind whose talents could turn a black Nigerian woman into a walking reference to a white American music star, they enlisted three key people: make-up artist Matthew Alechenu, who had helped Eniola Badmus transform into a glamorous, lipstick-loving city girl in the BlackBerry Babes trilogy; costumier Ogo Okechi, who had designed and supplied that trilogy’s trendy dresses; and Austine Erowele, whose thematically relevant song “BlackBerry Babes” had given the three films a further, jaunty self-reflexivity. Together, these six collaborators would generate a melodrama about the fine line between piracy and fair use—a four-part film about a globalizing media phenomenon that both supports and subverts that phenomenon, in inimitable Nollywood fashion.

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Medium 9780253008527

2 - The First Generation of Hoosier Plein Air Painters

Indiana Plein Air Painters Association Quarry Books ePub

During the state of Indiana's Golden Age of Culture, in the 1880s and 1890s, Hoosiers led the country in creative trends. The Hoosier Group painters were working at the same time as nationally read Indiana writers James Whitcomb Riley (1849–1916), George Aid (1866–1944), Meredith Nicholson (1866–1947), and Booth Tarkington (1869–1946). The visual artists' enthusiastic belief that their state was “as beautiful, characteristic and worthy of being interpreted as anything else in the world”1 helped to promote a tradition of landscape painting that has influenced local artists and collectors for generations.

T. C. Steele, William Forsyth, and J. Ottis Adams's interest in plein air painting had become focused in the early 1880s under the guidance of J. Frank Currier (1843–1909) during their summers away from rigorous studies at the Royal Academy of Art in Munich. While living in the village of Schleissheim, the Indiana students spent their days tramping the moors and attempting to depict the German scenery. Some of Steele's most elegant value studies and Forsyth's most gestural and thickly painted canvases are from these early sojourns.

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