Ethno-Aesthetics / Etnoæstetik


Ethno-Aesthetics / Etnoæstetik


(released January 2010)

Author: Pia Arke, with forewords by Lars Kiel Bertelsen and Erik Gant
Editor: ARK (Klaus Christensen & Lars Kiel Bertelsen) and Kuratorisk Aktion (Frederikke Hansen & Tone Olaf Nielsen)
Publisher: ARK, Pia Arke Selskabet & Kuratorisk Aktion, Copenhagen 2010
Type: Paperback
Language: English, Greenlandic, and Danish
Size: 79 pages, incl. one color photograph
Dimensions: 21 x 17 x 0.6 cm
ISBN: 978-87-993523-1-9
Distribution: Kuratorisk Aktion,
Price: DKK 79 / € 10 / US$ 12 (ex. handling fee, packaging, and shipping)

“…ethno-aesthetics is a description of the West seen from the outside, from the point of view of the ‘other’, from a point of view such as mine, the Greenlander’s.” – Pia Arke, 1995

Ethno-Aesthetics / Etnoæstetik is a trilingual reprint of Greenlandic-Danish visual artist and thinker Pia Arke’s essay Etnoæstetik. Originally published in 1995, the book is an important and in a Nordic context very early attempt at a postcolonial art theory and representational critique. In the essay, Arke (1958-2007) engages the special conditions that so-called ethnic artists work under and delivers a devastating critique of the West’s romanticization and stereotyping of ‘authentic,’  ‘Eskimoic,’ ‘primitive’ art – and of the resultant counter-image of the West, and only the West, as ‘civilized,’ ‘modern,’ and ‘complex.’ 

In a broader perspective, the essay is about art in general – about the preconditions for understanding and interpreting art, and about the benefits to be gained from regarding art as something that comes into being in the space between cultures. 

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