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Colour, art and empire: visual culture and the nomadism of representation

Colour, art and empire: visual culture and the nomadism of representation

Eaton, Natasha, 1974- author

Colour wreaks havoc with western expectations of biological determinism, objectivity and eugenics. Beyond the cracks of such discursive practice, colour becomes a sentient and nomadic retort to be pitted against a perceived colonial hegemony. Colour, Art and Empire explores the entanglements of visual culture, enchanted technologies, waste, revolution, resistance and otherness. The materiality of colour offers a critical and timely force-field for approaching afresh debates on colonialism. This book analyses the formation of colour and politics as qualitative overspill. Colour can be viewed both as central and supplemental to early photography, the totem, alchemy, tantra and mysticism. From the eighteenth-century Austrian Empress Maria Theresa to Rabindranath Tagore and Gandhi, to 1970s Bollywood, colour makes us adjust our take on the politics of the human sensorium as defamiliarising and disorienting. The four chapters conjecture how European, Indian and Papua New Guinean artists, writers, scientists, activists, anthropologists or their subjects sought to negotiate the highly problematic stasis of colour in the repainting of modernity. Specifically, the thesis of this book traces Europeans' admiration and emulation of what they termed 'Indian colour' to its gradual denigration and the emergence of a 'space of exception'. This space of exception pitted industrial colours against the colonial desire for a massive workforce whose slave-like exploitation ignited riots against the production of pigments - most notably indigo. Feared or derided, the figure of the vernacular dyer constituted a force capable of dismantling the imperial machinations of colour. Colour thus wreaks havoc with Western expectations of biological determinism, objectivity and eugenics. Beyond the cracks of such discursive practice, colour becomes a sentient and nomadic retort to be pitted against a perceived colonial hegemony. The ideological reinvention of colour as a resource for independence struggles make it fundamental to multivalent genealogies of artistic and political action and their relevance to the present

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English. Electronic books.
Published London: I.B. Tauris, 2013
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Details

Statement of responsibility: Natasha Eaton
ISBN: 085772276X, 9780857722768
Note: Includes index.
Note: Formerly CIP.
Physical Description: x, 405 pages , 16 pages of plates : illustrations
Series: International library of visual culture ; 12
Subject: Cultural studies; Imperialism in art.; Material culture; Art techniques & principles; Colonies in art.; Art Political aspects.; Color in art.; Art and Design; Theory of art; Philosophy: aesthetics; History of art
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. Askews and Holts. Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Series Title: International library of visual culture ; 12.
Other formats: Also available in printed form ISBN 9781780765198