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Podcast: cultural appropriation in the arts

Published 2 October 2017

Artists Yinka Shonibare RA and WESSIELING join ‘Matisse in the Studio’ co-curator Ellen McBreen to examine the ethical and artistic considerations of cultural appropriation within the arts, in a discussion chaired by writer and broadcaster Bidisha.

  • Using Matisse in the Studio as a starting point, our discussion examines the issues encountered when artists use cultural referencing in their work. A collector of objects from around the world, from Chinese calligraphy to textiles from Polynesia, Henri Matisse included cultural references in his work that he drew from the objects he collected. However, these references had the potential to misrepresent the culture to which the objects belonged.

    So when does referencing become misrepresentation and borrowing become cultural appropriation? Cultural exchange can lead to great works of art, but can artists represent a different culture in their work without controversy? How do we determine the ownership of culture and what does it mean for the creative process?

    To learn more about the speakers, visit the event page.

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