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The native artistic subject and national identity : a cultural analysis of the architecture of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, designed by Douglas J. Cardinal

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The native artistic subject and national identity : a cultural analysis of the architecture of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, designed by Douglas J. Cardinal

Acland, Joan Reid (1994) The native artistic subject and national identity : a cultural analysis of the architecture of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, designed by Douglas J. Cardinal. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The Canadian Museum of Civilization (CMC) was constructed as a national-popular symbol which would unite a multicultural society. Described as a 'Global Village', CMC was designed to appeal to the 'cultural tourist' of the 21st century. To this end, a marketing strategy was keyed to the Canadian interest in the mythical qualities of the Land. As a museum whose characteristic features have been its 'Indianness', the dissertation seeks to understand why a conflation of these two idioms, Land and 'Indianness', is seen to appeal to Canadians at this postmodern moment. The role of Douglas Cardinal, architect of the Museum, is examined in terms of his effect as a Canadian of Blackfoot, Metis, and German ancestry. Both the formal qualities of the architecture and its signification as a symbol of national identity are considered. This is shaped through an analysis of the iconography of the architecture in relation to traditional Native spiritual symbolism in order to construct a narrative surrounding the Museum which is identity specific. Primary source site visits and interviews were an integral aspect of the dissertation. My observations were developed and structured through the epistemological current of critical theory in anthropology, art history and cultural studies, drawing particularly on theories of postcolonial discourse and identity. Essentially the dissertation explores the relationship between the artistic subject, expressive form and the problematic of signification in relation to a symbol of national identity.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Acland, Joan Reid
Pagination:vi, 266 leaves : ill., plans ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Humanities Programme
Date:1994
Thesis Supervisor(s):Howes, David
ID Code:71
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:09
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:12
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