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Creative Frictions in the Neoliberal University: Courting Blakness at The University of Queensland

  • Fiona Foley
  • Fiona NicollEmail author
  • Zala Volcic
  • Dominic O’Donnell
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Critical University Studies book series (PCU)

Abstract

In 2014 Fiona Foley, one of Australia’s most influential contemporary artists, curated a public art installation with eight of her contemporaries in an iconic heritage site: The Great Court at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. While there is a long tradition of Indigenous artists speaking to power in public places and Foley is one of its most incisive practitioners, Courting Blakness was unique. This temporary exhibition spoke directly to the Great Court’s commissioned public art though it was not, itself, commissioned by the University. Instead, for the weeks it was on site, the selected artworks both complemented and contested official representations of the university, the state of Queensland and Indigenous people within the broader story of the nation carved into the university’s stone buildings.

Keywords

Public art Indigeneity University Politics Whiteness Anti-racism 

Notes

Acknowledgements

In addition to Fiona Foley and the eight participating artists, hundreds of other people including staff members, volunteers and students contributed to the success of Courting Blakness. Their work is acknowledged in the Outcomes Report cited in this chapter. Fiona Nicoll would like to give special acknowledgement here for the thoughtful and compassionate labors of Dr. Catherine Lawrence; as assistant project manager, she ran the volunteer program and was active across the university in securing support for the project throughout its life and beyond.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona Foley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fiona Nicoll
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zala Volcic
    • 3
  • Dominic O’Donnell
    • 4
  1. 1.The University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  3. 3.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  4. 4.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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