Who Owns Culture?

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February 23

9:00am - 4:00pm


Appropriation of culture and intellectual property has become a polarizing and much discussed topic in contemporary society; however, less is said about its related counterpart, “appreciation.”

While one conjures feelings of violence and trauma related to systemic power structures rooted in colonialism, the other suggests a sense of admiration, sharing of ideas, or a longing for the past/a return to grandeur. These actions have long histories across the world, time, and media.

This one-day symposium will bring together artists, curators, and scholars to explore the nuances of appropriation and appreciation in a series of four discussions led off by a keynote address.

Topics of discussion will include the revivalism of past visual cultures, the global art trade and the transmission of art styles, cross-cultural inspiration and globalization, historical trauma and the effects of appropriation, and Native American acts of re-appropriation as acts of decolonization.

Keynote speaker is Glenn Adamson. The symposium will also feature Ramona Beltran, Gregg Deal, Carla Fernandez, Jamie Okuma, Chen Shen, Clarissa Tossin, John Lukavic, Becky Hart, Tianlong Jiao, Jorge Rivas, and Florence Müller.