Emplacement and Displacement: Perceiving the Landscape Through Aboriginal Australian Acrylic Painting

Fred Myers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Aboriginal Australian acrylic paintings have long been considered representations of mythologically invested landscape. This understanding has been made problematic by recent writings on 'dwelling'. As common usage of the term 'landscape' seems to prioritize vision, to suggest that the acrylic paintings are landscapes only strengthens the suspicion that they are artifacts of displacement or distancing, rather than examples of the emplacement emphasized in this 'dwelling perspective'. However, this paper will demonstrate that the relationship between acrylic painting and the land is more complex than such an interpretation. It will argue that the Aboriginal objectification of their relationship to the land is not inherently a distancing of the land.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)435-463
    Number of pages29
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2013



    • Aboriginal Australian painting
    • Landscape theory
    • dwelling
    • emplacement
    • representation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Archaeology

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