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Anthropology of art: today and tomorrow 
Thomas Fillitz (University of Vienna)
Ursula Helg (Zurich University of the Arts)
Start time:
31 July, 2014 at
Time zone: Europe/Tallinn
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

A contemporary anthropology of art engages with discourses on art in multiple ways for a knowledge of today's art in the world and collaborations between anthropologists and contemporary artists. This workshop welcomes contributions which address challenges for future research in these fields.

Long Abstract:

Since the 1990s, the anthropology of art received several new impetuses. Predominantly, its scope is any art, making the grand divide between Western art and "ethnic art" superfluous, thereafter embracing a truly contemporary horizon. Much attention is given to collaboration which takes, broadly speaking, three major directions: (a) anthropologists are engaging in discourses with colleagues from other disciplines (art theory and art history), (b) collaborations between art practitioners and anthropologists, (c) while focusing on local researches on art and art institutions, wider trajectories and interconnections are nowadays self-evident.

Today, multiple approaches characterise its researches. Some are connected to a re-fashioned concept of world art studies, others participate in discourses about global art. In this regard, art worlds, art markets, their social actors and institutions as well as their strategies of appropriation, exclusion, and circulation are some major topics. Others follow the line of the power of images, either according to the concept of art's agency, or with the intention to unravel underlying conventions, which guide the beholder's gaze. Other approaches focus on practices and creativity, in particular on the collaboration between contemporary artists and anthropologists.

Such contemporary anthropological approaches in the visual arts have much to contribute to the dismantling of the hegemony of the Western modernity in this field and to shedding better insights on transcultural artistic trajectories. Finally new artistic practices call for a closer collaboration with anthropologists in many respects.

This workshop welcomes contributions, which address challenges and research foci for the future in the field of (visual) arts.

Accepted papers:

Session 1