Americo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies

Craig Campbell is principal curator and director of Ethnographic Terminalia

Mon, August 30, 2010
Craig Campbell is principal curator and director of Ethnographic Terminalia

Anthropology faculty member Craig Campbell is the principal curator and director of the Ethnographic Terminalia project.  With support from Folklore and Public Culture, Ethnographic Terminalia is at the forefront of developing new directions for visual and multi-sensory anthropology.

This November Ethnographic Terminalia presents a second installment of creative and critical works of anthropological boundary work.  After a highly successful exhibition in Philadelphia in 2009 (reviewed in Visual Anthropology Review vol.26, issue 1), Ethnographic Terminalia is coming to New Orleans.  This is an exhibition series designed as a para-site to the regular meetings of the American Anthropological Association.  This annual exhibition is an off-site extension to the meetings, taking advantage of the mass of anthropologists gathered in one place, to exhibit non-conformist works of inter-media anthropology.  These non-conforming works are often incommensurable or ill-suited to conventional conference centers and meeting halls.  They are works being produced by anthropologists around the world that have no regular venue to be seen, evaluated, and debated.

A major highlight of this year’s exhibition will be the presentation of work by Susan Hiller, an artist widely recognized and lauded within contemporary art worlds.  Susan Hiller’s work –though firmly grounded in the contemporary art world—shares significant overlap and language with anthropology.  She is of particular interest to Ethnographic Terminalia for her active and influential career as an artist, writer, and critic.  Lucy Lippard wrote in 1996, that “language, gender, desire and death are the immodest content of Susan Hiller’s art.  She is one of the few artists working today with the courage and subtlety to do such subjects justice, and in the process to move art out of its bounds.”  Hiller is an artist of great renown with anthropological training and a keen sensibility to the subtleties of cultural particularity and difference.

The principal goal of Ethnographic Terminalia is to provide a space for exhibiting works of experimental inter-media anthropology and to promote the appreciation, valuation, and validation of such enterprises within the academy.  A corollary benefit of operating within galleries and project spaces—para-sites to the conference and convention 
centers—is an increased visibility in the host community.  Ethnographic Terminalia thus serves persistent needs of anthropology to engage new publics.  Our exhibition at Crane Arts in Philadelphia in 2009 brought together hundreds of people from diverse backgrounds; anthropologists mingled with art-lovers, gallery-goers, and curious passers-by.  The exhibition in New Orleans will be similarly oriented to facilitate meetings and conversations in the informal and engaging setting of an art gallery and community arts space.

Details and updates for the project are posted at our website: www.ethnographicterminalia.org

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  • Americo Paredes Center for Cultural Studies

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