Professor Brian Martin - Immaterial Land: Refiguring Art And Materialism Through An Indigenous Australian Ideology

Brian Martin is of Bundjalung and Muruwari descent. He completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons) degree at Sydney University. He has been a practising artist for twenty-three years and has exhibited both nationally and internationally specifically in the media of painting and drawing. He completed his PhD by research at Deakin University, which focused on refiguring Australian art and culture from an Indigenous ideological perspective based on a reciprocal relationship to “Country”. Brian is currently Professor and Acting Director of the Institute of Koorie Education at Deakin University where he leads research specifically pertaining Indigenous knowledges, validity and methodological approaches to a research paradigm.

Through an examination and critique of western notions of ideology, particularly those based on representationalist ways of thinking, my research proposes an alternative way of thinking about ideology and ontology in relation to art practices in order to reveal a materialist understanding of the real. My argument relates specifically to art and culture and demonstrates through theoretical argument and practice, how Indigenous art and culture allow us to conceive of an alternative understanding of ideology and materiality. I elaborate an alternative framework of ideology based on Indigenous culture which is grounded on the relationship between culture and Land and posit a materialist ontology that resolves the opposition between “real” and the “imaginary”, the subject and the object, as they are understood within a representationalist framework. My argument is underpinned by the crucial premise that an Indigenous ideology is grounded upon the notion of “Country” (Land) and its inextricable relation to culture.

From The Outstanding Field: Artistic Research Emerging from the Academy - A Symposium. 19th — 21st of March 2015.