Partisans of the Nude as Decolonial Method: Curator’s Talk with Kirsten Scheid
What can studying a borrowed genre, such as the nude, outside its European boundaries teach us that we do not already know? Recognized as foundational to Western art since Ancient Greece, the nude’s role in carving out an Arab art and making modernity a cosmopolitan project has been ignored by both nationalist histories and Orientalist narratives. I argue that starting with art and following it closely through its local histories and ontologies not only adds to our appreciation of art but promises to help us decolonize ourselves.
Kirsten Scheid is curator of Partisans of the Nude and Professor of Anthropology and Art Studies, American University Beirut. She wrote her monograph Fantasmic Objects: Art and Sociality from Lebanon, 1920-1950 (Indiana University Press, 2022) while the Clark-Oakley Humanities Fellow for 2019-2020.
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