Authentication: the role of aboriginal art centers

Conference Papers
Resource theme: 
Fakes & Forgeries
Export, Acquisition & Due diligence
Resource type: 
Bibliography - Conference Papers
Australian Institute of Criminology
Pages / Length: 
6 p.
Language of publication: 

Paper presented at the Art Crime Protecting Art, Protecting Artists and Protecting Consumers Conference.

On contemplating this paper I found myself wondering what I should be talking about, or, more specifically, why I was floundering with its content. Steeped daily in the "authentic" and  possessing a naive sense that people will deal fairly, I have not given the problems much thought. It seems ironic, but the issue of authenticity is not one of great significance for us during our daily routine at Mangkaja Arts.

The omnipresence of the debate surrounding these issues on the radio and television has not  gone unnoticed in Mangkaja. Questions raised in the recent Four Corners program and the documentary titled Art from the Heart? are ones that we have discussed, but they do not impact on the artists to any great degree; and with that realisation, I am moved to ask why? Perhaps a brief overview of the operations of the art centres would be useful. 

Community based art centres began to appear in the Northern Territory in the mid-seventies with the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council being the main avenue of support. The development of new centres continued in an ad hoc fashion throughout the eighties with arts advisers resorting to a wide range of creative approaches in order to source funding through a disparate range of programs and agencies.