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Ogling the Ethnographic

5-9 pm Thursday 14th May 2015

The Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT

Artists: Angelina Jesson, Banna Sifri, Charlie Rumph, Jaron Hill, Joshua Tabti, Kane Brinell, Sandhya Stearman, Snail Jin, Uznain Majid, Zarina Muhammad

Curators: Joshua Tabti, Kane Britnell and Zarina Muhammad

Ogling the Ethnographic invites an audience to encounter and explore the culmination of a new collaboration between students of Central Saint Martins and the Royal Anthropological Institute. The one-night-only event features multi-disciplinary works that have either been approached in direct response to the RAI’s vast collection or apply anthropological study methods to contemporary western culture.

The domestic interior of the Institute, decorated with evidences of its own history as well as artefacts taken from the archive, provides a rare alternative to the white-walled space the artworks would conventionally occupy. Sitting subtly amongst relics of the observed and portraits of the observer, the pieces on show aim to highlight the archive’s undertones and tensions, whilst revealing the similarities in strategy of ethnographer and artist. The artist feels pressure to justify though professionalizes, while both artist and ethnographer maintain an objective perspective, socially disengaged with the subject in order to maintain a critical standpoint, ideas initially raised by Hal Foster’s essay: the Artist as Ethnographer.

Inspired by disciplines such as early anthropometric photography and barely edited documentary film, the show features performance, writing, film and photography, including the brewing of traditional Arabic coffee, the delivery of a history lecture and insertion of a counter narrative into the photographic archive. These additions to the RAI examine the contemporary implications of the manipulation of knowledge, ideologies of freedom, measuring ‘the other’ and diaspora whilst mimicking the elementary first impressions of anthropologists in the field.

For more information, visit: www.oglingtheethnographic.tumblr.com

Contact: oglingtheethnographic@gmail.com

This event results from Spooling the Ethnographic, a project run by Erika Tan, Lecturer of 4D pathway at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, for Stage 2 BA Fine Art stu-dents with support from Susanne Hammacher, Film Officer and Festival Manager at the RAI.

Central Saint Martins