Art and Agency

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198280149
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Art

Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions--European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian. Art and Agency was completed just before Alfred Gell's death at the age of 51 in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigour, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.

Art and Agency

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198280132
Release Date: 1998
Genre: Social Science

In Art and Agency, Alfred Gell formulates an anthropological theory of visual art that focuses on the social context of art production, circulation, and reception. As a theory of the nexus of social relations involving works of art, this work suggests that in certain contexts, art-objects substitute for persons and thus mediate social agency. Diversely illustrated and based on European, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian sources, Art and Agency was completed just before Gell's death at the age of fifty-one in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigor, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.

Art and Agency

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Clarendon Press
ISBN: 9780191037450
Release Date: 1998-07-09
Genre: Social Science

Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: the making of things as a means of influencing the thoughts and actions of others. He argues that existing anthropological and aesthetic theories take an overwhelmingly passive point of view, and questions the criteria that accord art status only to a certain class of objects and not to others. The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency. He explores the psychology of patterns and perceptions, art and personhood, the control of knowledge, and the interpretation of meaning, drawing upon a diversity of artistic traditions—European, Indian, Polynesian, Melanesian, and Australian. Art and Agency was completed just before Alfred Gell's death at the age of 51 in January 1997. It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigour, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring testament to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.

The Anthropology of Art

Author: Robert Layton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521368944
Release Date: 1991-08-30
Genre: Art

Place of aesthetics, imagery and aptness; relations between art and social life; relationships between cultural values, imagery, style and communication; place of creativity and the individual artist; Australian examples from Kimberleys and Arnhem Land.

Distributed Objects

Author: Liana Chua
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9780857457431
Release Date: 2013-03-30
Genre: Art

One of the most influential anthropological works of the last two decades, Alfred Gell's Art and Agency is a provocative and ambitious work that both challenged and reshaped anthropological understandings of art, agency, creativity and the social. It has become a touchstone in contemporary artifact-based scholarship. This volume brings together leading anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians and other scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue with Art and Agency, generating a timely re-engagement with the themes, issues and arguments at the heart of Gell's work, which remains salient, and controversial, in the social sciences and humanities. Extending his theory into new territory – from music to literary technology and ontology to technological change – the contributors do not simply take stock, but also provoke, critically reassessing this important work while using it to challenge conceptual and disciplinary boundaries.

Wrapping in Images

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198280904
Release Date: 1996
Genre: Art and anthropology

Wrapping in Images is the first comparative analysis of tattooing in Polynesia in its original setting, based on a comprehensive survey of both written and visual documentary sources.Drawing on modern social theory, psychoanalysis, and contemporary anthropology, Alfred Gell shows how tattooing formed part of a complex array of symbolic techniques for controlling sacredness and protecting the self. He uses this framework to examine the iconographic meaning of tattoo motifs, therich corpus of mythology surrounding tattooing in some Polynesian societies, and the complex rituals associated with the tattoing operation. he also demonstrates how not all ancient Polynesian societies placed an equal emphasis on tattooing, or exploited the basic metaphors in the same way. Gell'swide-ranging, comparative political analysis shows consistent correlations between forms of political structure and different tattooing institutions, offering a new perspective on Polynesian comparative sociology.

The Art of Anthropology

Author: Alfred Gell
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
ISBN: 1845204840
Release Date: 1999-02-01
Genre: Social Science

This work collects together the most influential of Gell's writings with a new introductory chapter written by Gell. The essays vividly demonstrate Gell's theoretical and empirical interests and his distinctive contribution to several key areas of current anthropological enquiry. A central theme of the essays is Gel's highly original exploration of diagrammatic imagery as the site where social relations and cognitive processes converge and crystallise. Gell tracks this imagery across studies of tribal market transactions, dance forms, the iconicity of language and his most recent and groundbreaking analyses of artworks.

Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds

Author: Dorothy Holland
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674005627
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Social Science

This text addresses the central problem in anthropological theory of the late 1990s - the paradox that humans are both products of social discipline and creators of remarkable improvisation.

The Anthropology of Art

Author: Howard Morphy
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781405155328
Release Date: 2009-02-04
Genre: Social Science

This anthology provides a single-volume overview of the essential theoretical debates in the anthropology of art. Drawing together significant work in the field from the second half of the twentieth century, it enables readers to appreciate the art of different cultures at different times. Advances a cross-cultural concept of art that moves beyond traditional distinctions between Western and non-Western art. Provides the basis for the appreciation of art of different cultures and times. Enhances readers’ appreciation of the aesthetics of art and of the important role it plays in human society.

Art s Agency and Art History

Author: Robin Osborne
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780470777275
Release Date: 2008-04-15
Genre: Art

Art's Agency and Art History re-articulates the relationship of the anthropology of art to key methodological and theoretical approaches in art history, sociology, and linguistics. Explores important concepts and perspectives in the anthropology of art Includes nine groundbreaking case studies by an internationally renowned group of art historians and art theorists Covers a wide range of periods, including Bronze-Age China, Classical Greece, Rome, and Mayan, as well as the modern Western world Features an introductory essay by leading experts, which helps clarify issues in the field Includes numerous illustrations

Anthropology and Social Theory

Author: Sherry B. Ortner
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822338645
Release Date: 2006-11-30
Genre: Philosophy

The award-winning anthropologist Sherry B. Ortner draws on her longstanding interest in theories of cultural practice to rethink key concepts of culture, agency, and subjectivity.

Visions of Culture

Author: Jerry D. Moore
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
ISBN: 9780759122192
Release Date: 2012-05-24
Genre: Social Science

This classic textbook, now in its fourth edition, offers anthropology students a succinct, clear, and balanced introduction to theoretical developments in the field. The key ideas of 25 major theorists are briefly described and—unique to this textbook—linked to the biographical and fieldwork experiences that helped shape their theories. The impact of each scholar on contemporary anthropology is presented, along with numerous examples, quotations from the theorists' writings, and a description of the broader intellectual setting in which these anthropologists worked. Moore has updated many of the profiles to take into account recent scholarship. The book is also more strongly tied in to the companion work,Visions of Culture: An Annotated Reader, to encourage the fullest intellectual engagement for students. The Visions of Culture Value Pack is available when you order directly from AltaMira Press. Order these two books as part of the Visions of Culture Value Pack using a single isbn for a 20% discount! Click here to order online. Includes: 1. Visions of Culture: An Introduction to Anthropological Theories and Theorists Fourth Edition Jerry D. Moore 2012 2. Visions of Culture An Annotated Reader Jerry D. Moore 2009 Find full information on the contents of the reader here.

Ordinary Ethics

Author: Michael Lambek
Publisher: Fordham Univ Press
ISBN: 9780823233168
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Philosophy

Bringing together ethnographic exposition with philosophical concepts and arguments and effectively transcending subdisciplinary boundaries between cultural and linguistic anthropology, the essays collected in this volume explore the ethical entailments of speech and action and demonstrate the centrality of ethical practice, judgment, reasoning, responsibility, cultivation, commitment, and questioning in social life. Rather than focus on codes of conduct or hot-button issues, they make the cumulative argument that ethics is profoundly 'ordinary', pervasive - and possibly even intrinsic to speech and action. In addition to deepening our understanding of ethics, the volume makes an incisive and necessary intervention in anthropological theory, recasting discussion in ways that force us to rethink such concepts as power, agency, and relativism. Individual chapters consider the place of ethics with respect to conversation and interaction; judgment and responsibility; formality, etiquette, performance, ritual, and law; character and empathy; social boundaries and exclusions; socialization and punishment; and commemoration, history, and living together in peace and war.

Culinary Art and Anthropology

Author: Joy Adapon
Publisher: Berg
ISBN: 9781847886064
Release Date: 2008-08-01
Genre: Social Science

Culinary Art and Anthropology is an anthropological study of food. It focuses on taste and flavour using an original interpretation of Alfred Gell's theory of the 'art nexus'. Grounded in ethnography, it explores the notion of cooking as an embodied skill and artistic practice. The integral role and concept of 'flavour' in everyday life is examined among cottage industry barbacoa makers in Milpa Alta, an outer district of Mexico City. Women's work and local festive occasions are examined against a background of material on professional chefs who reproduce 'traditional' Mexican cooking in restaurant settings. Including recipes to allow readers to practise the art of Mexican cooking, Culinary Art and Anthropology offers a sensual, theoretically sophisticated model for understanding food anthropologically. It will appeal to social scientists, food lovers, and those interested in the growing fields of food studies and the anthropology of the senses.