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Farsighted: The Age of the Picture as the World

  • Author(s): Elbaum, Sarah
  • Advisor(s): Roberts, Allen F.
  • et al.
Abstract

Contemporary African artists Yinka Shonibare, MBE and Djibril Diop Mambety investigate the intimate effects of colonial materiality at large, utilizing colonial era aesthetics in their work while circumventing its indexicality, finding instead new methods with which to discuss individual experience, the colonial, and the postcolonial. To address the psychological import of extant colonial material culture, I analyze these artists' particular negotiations of plural locales and temporalities in their respective bodies of work as methods of re-archiving the colonial tangible and built environments in terms of individual experience.

Gender Studies scholarship on colonialism links psychology, in terms of power dynamics and sexuality, to nation-building, racism, and empire fatigue. This decoding of humanity's most large scale colonial projects and most intimate reactions in a grand sweep of analysis, to and fro, is a task partially taken up by Shonibare and Mambety. Their work deals in terms of scale shifts, from local to global, individual to empire, and from the intimate to the immense.

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