Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. investigate issues in artistic practice in relation to contemporary and historical contexts
  2. evaluate the integrity of diverse sources of information, compare and contrast differing cultural perspectives in historical and contemporary visual culture
  3. demonstrate a sound knowledge of issues concerning contemporary Indigenous Australian art through written communication.
  • Topics

    • Introduction
    • Aboriginal Nations Pre-Invasion
    • The 'Unsettling' of Australia
    • Aboriginal Art in Colonial Australia 1788-1900
    • Aboriginal Peoples in the Photographic Archive
    • Ephemeral Practices, Ritual, Song and Performance in Aboriginal cultures
    • Artefact and Landscape as Memory Triggers in Aboriginal Communities
    • Diversity and Difference
    • International Markets, Displacement and Commodification in Remote Aboriginal Communities
    • Artists as Cultural Warriors: The Twentieth Century Human Rights movements
    • Contemporary Art. History Under the Microscope; Reclaiming the Present and the Future
  • Study resources

    • Instructional Methods

      • Audio/Video conferencing
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online Materials

      • Resources and Links
      • Printable format materials

Entry Requirements

Equivalent Subjects

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • CUR-VIS36

You are recommended to have completed the following subjects(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:


You need proficiency in the English language and be competent in writing essays.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as VIS25 Contemporary Indigenous Australian Art.

Explore the histories, aesthetics and politics that shape contemporary Indigenous Australian art. This subject examines artistic practices from a range of geographical and historical contexts within Indigenous Australia. Students are encouraged to engage critically with texts and to assess the reliability of information when approaching this subject. Topics include pre-colonial art, the Dreaming, art as a political strategy, the appropriation of Indigenous art and Indigenous art on the global stage.

Please Note: If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University subject you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your subject grades will be withheld.

Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

  • Online test (15%)
  • Essay 1 (40%)
  • Essay 2 (45%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject.

View textbooks