Remote Avant-Garde: Aboriginal Art under Occupation
Jennifer Loureide Biddle is Director of Visual Anthropology & Visual Culture and Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute for Experimental Arts at the University of New South Wales. She is the author of Breasts, Bodies, Canvas: Central Desert Art as Experience.
Tangentyere Artists is the first community arts center for Aboriginal people and community members living in town camps of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. Chapter 2 provides an original analysis of the emergent aesthetics of Tangentyere Artists. It presents the practice basis of contemporary artists including Margaret Boko and Sally M. Mulda as high biliteracy or biliterary poesis in the context of the Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) that would depict remote Aboriginal people as illiterate. Tangentyere Artists’ works of biliterary finesse provide primary witness otherwise. This emergent aesthetic demonstrates a complex and unique literary “communilect” or “metrolect” developing in response to complex and competing demands of life “under occupation” in Mbuntua (Alice Springs) today.