Contemporary Art and Anthropology

ISBN 13: 9781845201036

Contemporary Art and Anthropology

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9781845201036: Contemporary Art and Anthropology

This book takes an innovative approach to representational practices within contemporary art and anthropology. Traditionally the anthropology of art has tended to focus on the interpretation of tribal artifacts, but has not considered the impact such art could have on its own ways of making and presenting work. The potential for the contemporary art scene to suggest innovative representational practices has been similarly ignored. This book challenges the reluctance that exists within anthropology to pursue alternative strategies of research, creation and exhibition, and argues that contemporary artists and anthropologists have much to learn from each others practices.

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About the Author:

Arnd Schneider is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and European Studies at the University of East London, England and Senior Research Fellow (Habilitationsstipendiat, DFG) at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Christopher Wright is Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London.


There is an anthropology of art and art-making, just as there is an anthropology that is art, butting at the crabby distinctions separating art from science. This book raises the wonderful specter of having the two combine forces to the benefit of both art and anthropology. A treat! Michael Taussig, Columbia University Crossing borders between academic disciplines -- being eclectic in methodologies of research and representation -- we more nearly approach the complex singularity of the human. This volume amply demonstrates the cross-disciplinary potential; refusing the confinements of categorical identities, Schneider, Wright and colleagues make manifest the creativity behind 'social science' and 'art' alike. Nigel Rapport, Concordia University Drawing on some of the most interesting of contemporary anthropologists, this book extends the critiques of 'writing culture' and the new anthropologiesof art by suggesting collaborative possibilities that, it is to be hoped, provide a new horizon for the next generation of practitioners. It was a pleasure to read the unexpected forays in themselves and in the context of this well-crafted project. Fred Myers, New York University 'Contemporary Art and Anthropology' provides a major pioneering step towards bridging the two areas of practice achieved through seeking areas of overlap. This approach not onlyprovides a useful framework for artists and anthropologists alike, but also opens up a dialogue between the two disciplines and sets the stage for future experimental work. Terence Wright, University of Ulster 'Contemporary Art and Anthropology' takes a new and exciting approach to representational practices within contemporary art and anthropology. This is the value of 'Contemporary Art and Anthropology': it suggests possibilities and encourages experimental juxtapositions while actively calling for an expanding dialogue. It is a stimulating text that will be of interest to artists, museum and gallery professionals, and the general reader. Journal of Museum Ethnography 'Contemporary Art and Anthropology' is a consistently exciting and varied book. Its pictures and text open up new and unsual vistas. Zeitschrift fuer Ethnologie This important volume gathers together a wide range of perspectives on anthropology and art to present innovative proposals for the reconfiguration of anthropological methods and forms of interpretation. -- Morgan Perkins, State University of New York, Potsdam Museum Anthropology

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