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By Roger Sansi

In fresh a long time, the discussion among paintings and anthropology has been either excessive and arguable. Art, Anthropology and the Gift presents a much-needed and complete evaluate of this discussion, while additionally exploring the reciprocal nature of the 2 matters via perform, idea and politics.

Fully enticing with anthropology and artwork idea, this e-book innovatively argues that paintings and anthropology do not simply percentage methodologies, but additionally deeper highbrow, theoretical or even political matters, inviting students and scholars alike to examine this contentious courting in a extra serious gentle. one of many crucial arguments of the e-book is that the matter of the 'gift' has been principal to either anthropological and inventive perform. This very suggestion connects different chapters on themes together with aesthetics, politics, participation and fieldwork.

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Extra info for Art, Anthropology and the Gift

Sample text

The broken egg on the spirit effigy looks exactly like the helmet. The magic of cinema, jumping from one place to the other, one time to another, taking the point of view of different people, allows Rouch to duplicate the experience of spirit possession—jumping out of the here-and-now into other bodies. In this process, Rouch’s film could not but be a scandal—not just because of the gory images of the spirit possession cult, but also because he was showing a reality that was neither art as anthropology 27 28 art, anthropology and the gift African nor European, but the encounter of both through the techniques of spirit possession and filmic montage.

Artistic documentation is left voluntarily open to keep it close to the “process” of production, as a trace, or leftover, of this process. In fact, this documentation has become the very work of art, the commodity that is sold in the art market, an objectification of the ephemeral event that can’t otherwise be grasped, because of its ephemeral specificity. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the “document,” which for the surrealists seemed to be the revolutionary antonym to the artwork, has become its ultimate instance; the new form of commodity fetishism in art.

2 Clifford (1988) described the surrealist process, the confrontation of the familiar with the exotic, in terms of juxtaposition and collage. Collage “brings to the work (hence the ethnographic text) elements that continually proclaim their foreignness to the context of presentation”(1988: 146). Or we could say it shows the irreducibility of one culture to the next. The model of collage is based on appropriation, taking things from one context and putting them in a different one. But in the end, it seems that all is left in a game of mirror images, reflecting each other, but not really producing any effects: things remain different, irreducible, perhaps impossible to understand.

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