Miss Chief and the art of Decolonial Tease. The Mixedblood Urban Earthdiver and the Flâneur

Dohmen, Renate (2023). Miss Chief and the art of Decolonial Tease. The Mixedblood Urban Earthdiver and the Flâneur. Third Text (In Press).

Abstract

This discussion posits that the work of the Cree artist Kent Monkman offers a unique and potent contribution to the project of decolonisation rooted in an Indigenised context. Focusing on the parodic, art historical interventions of his artistic alter ego Miss Chief, it explores his art in view of ‘transmotion’, a crucial but often overlooked aspect of postindian tricksterism outlined by the Anishinaabe author Gerald Vizenor, as well as the postindian approach to translation. His approach will be considered against the foil of the project of decolonising proposed by the sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos, framed in terms of a post-abyssal ecology of knowledges, with a focus on the notion of intercultural translation and the motion of the swerve he proposes. The discussion concludes by positing the Vizenorian figure of the mixedblood, urban earthdiver as figurehead for a decolonial era of the future, supplanting the urban flâneur of modernity.

Plain Language Summary

This discussion suggests that the work of the Cree artist Kent Monkman makes a unique and potent contribution to the project of decolonisation rooted in an Indigenised context. It focuses on the parodic, art historical interventions of his artistic alter ego Miss Chief, which are explored through Anishinaabe author Gerald Vizenor's figure of the post-indian, in particular the notion of 'transmotion' and the view of intercultural translation it entails. This approach will be situated in view of the project of decolonising proposed by the sociologist Boaventura de Sousa Santos. The discussion suggests the Vizenorian figure of the mixedblood, urban earthdiver as figurehead for a decolonial era of the future, replacing the urban flâneur of modernity.

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