Accepted Paper:

Magic vitrines, the artist Karl Marx, and Gods on the market: Unstable exhibitions, encompassing assemblages, and renewable anthropologies  

Author:

Manuela Ciotti (University of Vienna)

Paper short abstract:

This paper analyses selected ethnographic moments at museums, biennales and auction houses at several geographical locations and discusses the broader significance of what it means to ethnographically investigate the art world.

Paper long abstract:

This paper analyses a number ethnographic moments at museums, biennales and auction houses at several geographical locations. Against the backdrop of exclusionary processes determining what might be viewed as art, commodification trends and an overall 'art world governmentality', the ethnography shows objects, people, spaces and architectures in a fluid interrelation. Exhibitions and displays appeared as flexible and engendering diverse human reactions which at times had little to do with the art world per se. This paper is concerned with the broader significance of what it means to ethnographically investigate the art world. Marcus (2016) has argued that ethnography 'creates opportunities for anthropology to be renewed on the borders of the classic discipline and makes new partners for it. Ethnography, not anthropology, does this crucial borderwork.' Drawing from the above insights, this paper discusses the work of ethnography towards an anthropology of the art world.

Panel P079
For an anthropology of the art world: Exploring institutions, actors and art works between circulation and territorialisation processes