P019
Art (and anthropology) beyond materiality and representation

Convenors:
Roger Sansi (Universitat de Barcelona)
Format:
Panels
Location:
British Museum - Studio
Start time:
1 June, 2018 at 11:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

A great deal of contemporary art has taken the form of events, performances and situations designed to provoke, experiment, speculate, intervene and query social forms and relations. What does it mean for anthropology to follow these developments and think art beyond materiality and representation?

Long abstract:

A great deal of contemporary anthropological thinking about art and museums has gravitated around notions of materiality and representation. Much of the anthropological study of art has taken the form of an exploration of objects and their "material agency", while the study of museums has focused on "the politics of display", that is, on how those objects are represented as part of larger cultural categories, such as the nation, the other, gender, etc. And yet, a great deal of contemporary art since the 1960s has not been thought of or practiced in terms of material objects and cultural representations, but as events, performances and situations, ways of provoking, experimenting, speculating, intervening and querying social forms and relations. In this panel, we would like to ask what does it mean for anthropology to follow these developments and think art beyond materiality and representation. What can anthropology learn from these practices? What kinds of exchanges, collaborations or conflicts can emerge between anthropology and art? How can those exchanges, collaborations or conflicts move ethnographic thinking and practice beyond materiality and representation? How, for example, would an ethnographic museum would look like beyond materiality and representation?