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No Deal!

Indigenous Arts and the Politics of Possession

Edited by Tressa Berman

No Deal!2012. 282 pp., 15 figures, 18 color plates, 1 table, notes, references, index, 6 x 92012. 282 pp., 15 figures, 18 color plates, 1 table, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

No Deal! encompasses a diverse group of artists, curators, art historians, and anthropologists from Australia and North America in order to investigate social relations of possession through the artifacts and motifs of Indigenous expressive culture. The contributors speak from the standpoints of Indigenous systems of knowledge as well as from western epistemologies and their institutions, interrogating what it means to “own culture.” The case studies in this volume contribute to notions of “ownership” and “possession” through the lens of art and its associated rights to production, circulation, performance, and representation.

Cover image: Jennifer Herd, No Deal!, 2004. Courtesy of the artist.

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Contributors: Tressa Berman, Jennifer Biddle, Marie Bouchard, Marco Centin, Suzanne Newman Fricke, Kathy M’Closkey, Lea S. McChesney, Eric Michaels, Nancy Marie Mithlo, Fred Myers, Nancy J. Parezo

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Download an excerpt (PDF, 87 KB).

Read Reviews

  • “A hugely useful resource for anyone interested in Indigenous art, culture, and questions of cultural appropriation and ownership, with some of the leaders in their fields providing valuable and thought-provoking cross-disciplinary perspectives.”
    Terri Janke, Terri Janke and Company Pty Ltd, Intellectual Property Lawyers, Australia
  • “Over the last fifty years, Indigenous art movements in Australia, New Zealand, North America, and elsewhere have been vital and potent in unexpected ways. Fresh, up-to-date, engaging, and engaged, No Deal! provides the best guide I have read to the politics of native art.”
    Nicholas Thomas, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge
  • “Tressa Berman has brought together new voices to make sense of the often complicated art world that has historically marginalized non-Western voices. Though Indigenous peoples in North America and Australia continue to live under the colonial weight of the West, there is a growing discourse that articulates these weighty circumstances that Berman and the contributors to this volume take charge in formulating and offer new strategies for engaging.”
    Gerald McMaster, Independent Scholar, USA and Adjunct Curator, Art Gallery of Ontario
  • No Deal! is a cross-disciplinary essay collection, written by artists, museum curators, anthropologists, and art historians from Australia and North America, that examines these questions, both from Indigenous and western perspectives. The essays provide fresh, thought-provoking insights into the politics of contemporary Native art as they investigate creative ways by which Native artists engage the global art world in their efforts to repossess their art and their heritage. . . . No Deal! . . . offers new, important avenues of inquiry into the politics of contemporary Indigenous art that will surely spark further research into controversies such as that of the Hopi in Paris.”
    Carter Jones Meyer, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Great Plains Quarterly, Fall 2015

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