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Title: Creative responses to Australian material culture in the Pitt Rivers Museum collection : parallels between 'We Bury Our Own' and 'Mining the Museum'
Author: Thompson, Christian
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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This theoretical dissertation is a comparative assessment of two exhibitions responding to a museum archive: the work of African-American artist Fred Wilson (b. 1954), Mining the Museum, at the Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, 1993, and my own exhibition We Bury Our Own at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, 2012. I explore the emergence of the museum as a context and medium for artists as institutional critique. The following research outlines a range of artistic practices and engages a process of ekphrasis to give detailed comprehensive accounts of both exhibitions, demonstrating how studio-based research is able to reveal hidden or previously unseen histories obscured by the imperial gaze. I discuss the differences between my own and Wilson's approaches in order to expose how the work might shift in significance or meaning when it is placed inside and outside the museum context. This thesis introduces the idea of spiritual repatriation, outlines how museum collections are able to contribute to artistic practice and how artists can contribute to the ongoing exhibition, critique and appreciation of museum collections. This thesis also elaborates on the Pitt Rivers Museum Collection and its subsequent influence on recent work, and redefines the title We Bury Our Own as a metaphor applied to a wider picture.
Supervisor: Catling, Brian ; Warr, Tracey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available