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Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais
On-line version ISSN 1806-9053
GOLDSTEIN, Ilana Seltzer. Authorship, autenticity and appropriation: reflections based upon Australian aboriginal painting. Rev. bras. Ci. Soc. [online]. 2012, vol.27, n.79, pp.81-106. ISSN 1806-9053. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-69092012000200006.
Indigenous people comprise only 2.5% of the population in Australia, but, interestingly, the proportion of artists is much higher among them than among the white. This article proposes a reflection about the explanations for this phenomenon and discusses the recent inclusion of indigenous art in Australian museums, auction houses, and commercial galleries, what has raised a number of issuesregarding the determination of authorship and authenticity. Although these categories are central to the market and exhibition circuit, they are relatively arbitrary and negotiable. Furthermore, dialogues between white and indigenous artists started to happen, as well as the appropriation - not always authorized - of traditional iconography by companies and even the federal government, which has been making use of this repertoire in the construction of the Australian national identity.
Keywords : Anthropology of Art; Australian aboriginal painting; Authenticity; Authorship.