Integration and Resistance in Desert Art

By Maria Buchner.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper calls into question certain ideas and meaning of the desert as reflected in art. The constitution and interpretation of different concepts of the desert are investigated. Both the establishment of specific motifs in art and the evolution of these ideas are examined.

The appeal of the desert is unbroken. Depending on its cultural context, however, the idea of the desert has different functions and meanings. The main difference between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous response to the desert is that in Western culture these visions are more often projections rather than reflections. This observation will be explored with the themes of tradition, spiritual connection and authenticity being of particular interest.

The iconography of desert art is threaded through cultures and centuries. It will be considered what meaning it holds today and what the reasons and implications for this development have been. A strong emphasis will be placed on the international art market, with its paradox of profit and poverty, for its current influence on contemporary expression.

Keywords: Desert, Nomads, Indigenous, Non-Indigenous, Land, Time, Spiritual, International Art Market, Poverty, Authenticity

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.291-300. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.211MB).

Maria Buchner

Maria Buchner has won numerous art prizes and awards, and exhibited in over 70 shows and screenings across five continents. Her work is situated within in the context of Land and Environmental Art, Arte Povera, installation and mixed media sculpture.


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