The Trickster Shift: Humour and Irony in Contemporary Native Art

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UBC Press, 1999 - Art criticism - 303 pages
Over the last 15 years, a select group of professionally trained andpolitically astute Canadian artists of Native ancestry has produced acompelling body of work that owes much of its power to a wry and ironicsense of humour rooted firmly in the oral tradition. More than acritical/political strategy, such humour reflects a widespread culturaland communal sensibility embodied in the mythical Native AmericanTrickster. This book explores the influence of this comic spirit on thepractice of various artists through the presentation of a'Trickster discourse,' that is, a body of overlapping andinterrelated verbal and visual narratives by tricksters and abouttrickster practice.

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The trickster shift: humour and irony in contemporary native art

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As illustrated by the recent Reservation X (LJ 5/1/99), Native Canadians are enjoying an especially vital art climate. Definitely disturbing and certainly immediate, this wonderful book brings ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Allan J. Ryan lectures frequently on anthropology, arthistory, and Native Studies. He has been variously employed as agraphic designer, singer-songwriter, and television satirist.Currently, he is New Sun Chair in Aboriginal Art and Culture atCarleton University.

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