Decolonizing Culture by Anuradha Vikram
Anuradha Vikram’s Decolonizing Culture is a collection of seventeen essays that address questions of race and gender parity in contemporary art spaces. Originally published between 2013 and 2017 through Daily Serving’s #Hashtags column, Vikram's text considers the specifics of equality and representation in the context of current events in the field of arts and culture in the United States and internationally. The columns cover a number of racially charged incidents in arts institutions during this period that received significant press attention, but little meaningful analysis. Vikram examines how arts institutions construct space and select programming in accordance with their expectations of their audience, and how a disconnect between the realities of contemporary urban demographics and the leadership at many arts institutions has led to controversy and embarrassment on numerous occasions. Contrasting with these case studies in institutional exclusion are a number of profiles of artists and artworks that bring art’s potential for inclusivity to fruition, working within institutions as well as outside of them to bring change.
Anuradha Vikram is a writer, curator, and educator based in Los Angeles. She is the artistic director at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. Her research combines media studies, theory of globalization, and critical race discourse with early modern, modern, and contemporary art history. Publications include “’Naked in the Sight of the Object’: Masking, Masquerade, and Black Identity” (X-TRA, vol. 18 no. 4, Summer 2016), “Becoming Human: Nam June Paik’s Futuristic Compassion” (X-TRA, vol. 18 no. 1, Fall 2015), “A Brief and Incomplete History of Art and Technology Ventures in the Bay Area 1980-2010” (Afterimage, vol. 41, no. 6, Summer 2014), and “Sonya Rapoport: A Woman’s Place is in the Studio” (Sonya Rapoport: Pairings of Polarities. Berkeley: Heyday, 2012). She has contributed to Leonardo, KCET Artbound, Artillery, Hyperallergic, Daily Serving, and OPEN SPACE, the blog of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is a Senior Lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design, and a member of the Board of Directors of the College Art Association, where she serves on the Conference committee and chairs the Museums committee.