Art that is not language: Anthony Forge and Kamasan painting

11 November 2010

Professor Adrian Vickers and Ms Siobhan Campbell

University of Sydney

This lecture discusses the work of Professor Anthony Forge in the field of Balinese Kamasan painting. Anthony Forge argued that art has a visual quality, summed up by a quoted line from dancer Isadore Duncan who said ‘If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it'. His interest in art as non-verbal communication led him to Bali and Kamasan Painting. His work in Bali allowed him to explore the ways in which his Balinese collaborators experienced the world, and to develop new aspects of the understanding of the social meaning of art. By exploring these problems of meaning and communication in Balinese art, this lecture examines the relationship between Anthropology and Art History, with a particular focus on the responses of contemporary Kamasan artists to Forge's fieldwork project.

Broad Topics: Arts and Social Sciences

Sub-topics: Creative Arts, History & Archeology, Humanities, Society & Culture

Areas: ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences



Lecture Recording (MP3, 54.7MB) HH:MM:SS=59:47:00

Ms Siobhan Campbell is a postgraduate research student at the University of Sydney working on a project titled Collecting Balinese Art: the Forge Collection of Balinese Paintings at the Australian Museum. Her current research project enables her experiences in facilitating cross-cultural communication to merge with a long-standing interest in Indonesian material culture.
Professor Adrian Vickers is Professor of Southeast Asian Studies as well as Director of the Australian Centre for Asian Art and Archaeology at the University of Sydney.. He is author of Bali: A Paradise Created (1989) and A History of Modern Indonesia (2005). His latest book Peradaban Pesisir [Coastal Civilisation] continues to explore themes of Panji texts from his earlier book Journeys of Desire (2005). In 1979 he was supervised in the field by Anthony Forge.