George Fairfax Fellow 2005, Prof Jon Altman
Kenneth Myer Lecture - Brokering Aboriginal Art: A Critical Perspective on Marketing, Institutions and the State
Prof Jon Altman is the
Foundation Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the ANU Canberra
Professor Altman researches production and marketing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual art. He is Foundation Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at the Australian National University, Canberra.
He has advised the Northern Territory Government on the development of its Indigenous Arts Strategy, as well as collaborating with Hetti Perkins, Apolline Kohen and Luke Taylor in mounting the major exhibition Crossing Country: The Alchemy of Western Arnhem Land Art at the Art Gallery of NSW.
Visual art is a beacon of Aboriginal cultural survival, adaptation and efflorescence in post-colonial Australia. This success has occurred within a broader national context where many remote communities are welfare dependent and socially disintegrated. This lecture explored this paradox, providing an analysis of state-sponsorship of arts infrastructure of inter-cultural mediation, pivotal to this unusual arts movement, national arts policy, vignettes from the author's long-term research with the Kuninjku language community of western Arnhem Land, and critical perspectives on recent debates about indigenous arts marketing.
Professor Jon Altman