Constellations of the contemporary: Art / Asia / Australia

University of Queensland Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
JAS, Australia's Public Intellectual Forum, 2008, 32 (4), pp. 433 - 444
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In this essay, I argue that the work of the variously constituted Asian artistic diasporas in Australia represent new constellations of the contemporary that foreground the multiple, overlapping as well as disjunctive temporalities and spatialities of both `Australia and `Asia. I show how the critical and geographical trope of the South understood as a mode of location and an epistemic category not only offers a framework for understanding the constellation of differences and multiplicity that inflect the category of the contemporary in Australian art, it also enables one to rethink the spatial and temporal assumptions that underlie the history of this art. This is particularly evident when one considers the ways in which the work and presence of various Asian artists in Australia have opened up new horizons of possibility for rethinking the spatial and temporal coordinates of Australian art, culture and identity.
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