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Exhibit/Inhibit: Archaeology, Value, History In The Work Of Fred Wilson

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Chapter Summary

The work of Fred Wilson interrogates some of the prior narratives, and the history they have produced, through a process of re-examination and re-inscription. However, ancient Egypt was the immediate visual referent: the interior of the standard, grafittied New York City trash container was outfitted with a series of study cases holding the artifacts which were displayed to recall the Metropolitan Museum's blockbuster exhibition of the treasures of Tutankhamen. Wilson's Egyptian work is also about ethnocentricity-the ethno-centricity of archaeological interpretation, itself subject to a historical particularity with its own cultural text. However, his is not a revisionist reading that claims a different history as truth, à la Cheikh Anta Diop's The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality, Civilization or Barbarism-a reading that inscribes Egyptian civilization in Africa, and gives rise to a powerful countervalent force often labeled &t;Afrocentrism.&t;.

Keywords: Afrocentrism; ethnocentricity; Fred Wilson; Tutankhamen



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