Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Speculating the contemporary art market: gambles, trends and compositions of future  


Dayana Zdebsky de Cordova (Universidade Federal de São Carlos)

Paper short abstract:

Starting from an ethnography of the Brazilian contemporary art market, I place under scrutiny the speculation within this market as being an effort of calculation and construction of the future which, mobilizing different knowledge areas, directs the wagers of its actors and weaves future trends.

Paper long abstract:

The contemporary visual art market is closely related to notions such as gambling and trend. A gamble on a young artist from a gallery owner or collector undergoes calculations and efforts towards constructing the future. This composition can be based on readings of the present and of the recent past coupled with discontinuous lines that cast unstable bridges towards the future: the trends within contemporary art and its market. In this process, speculative insofar as it attempts to predict, manipulate and construct the future - beyond the actors' different views and subjective tastes - different knowledge/calculation tools are intertwined: history of art, economy, and sociology of art. The latter particularly interests me by bridging the thought schemes of the anthropologist and their research subjects, since both are informed and shaped by the same social theories. Some sociologists, for example, act as consultants of the art market, responding to market researches commissioned by galleries to contribute to the formation, establishment and consolidation of this market, considered to be emergent in Brazil.

This paper presents some considerations and is focused on the project Speculating Art: an ethnography of the Brazilian contemporary art market. Researches such as this one brings new challenges to the anthropology of art since contemporary art requires the construction of new analytical approaches, drawing new dialogues with subjects that shape and inform art, but also with perspectives which contemporarily shape and inform anthropology itself.

Panel P047
Anthropology of art: today and tomorrow