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Lesson Plans


RE: PRIMITIVE ART/WEB PAGE DESIGN

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
John Bibby, QED of York, York, England (qed)
Thu, 18 Dec 1997 23:14:32 +0000

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On 12 Dec 97 at 15:34, Robert Beeching wrote:
> ALL SO-CALLED "PRIMITIVE" ART is based on "cultural transmission";
> something sadly lacking in current U.S.art ed. practices. The
> Nigerian culture has perpetuated a high quality output of drawing,
> painting, weaving, printing, and sculpture for the past 2000 yrs.
...

I'm not sure it's tru to say that cultural transmission is "lacking"
in US art ed.. But the nature of cultural transmission is very
society-dependent. It wd be unrealistic to expect the current US
vehicle of transmission to have much in common with that in Nigerai
2000 years ago.

A more useful focus would be to examine the NATURE of transmission in
e.g the USA today (technology, corporation-dominated, multinationals,
art as a commodity, capitalism as a latter-day "patron" of the arts
etc., etc.)

Also, I think Robert';s comments on Nigeria need unpacking:
1. "Nigeria" is not/has not been a cultural entity. True ASfrican
cultureal entities are both smaller than and larger than national
boundaries.
2. To talk about "drawing,
> painting, weaving, printing, and sculpture for the past 2000 yrs.
suggests that these have all been going on all this time. Not so, I
suspect! (certainly the evidencer is mainly for sculpture and casting
of bronzes etc.) Nigeria is esp rich in the following art-forms:
1. Painting: NOT on canvas, but on house-walls, hand-painted advertising
hoardings, etc etc
2. Mud sculpture (I'm sure there's a technical term for it!) -
anything from a small temple to a mosque
3. Clothwork, not just weaving but dying, batik etc
4. Music, dance, ...
Lots of scope here both for specific investigations AND deeper
questions of what art IS in various societies.

JOHN BIBBY

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