Art and Agency: An Anthropological Theory

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Oxford University Press, 1998 - 271 pagini
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.
 

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Cuprins

The Problem Defined The Need for an Anthropology of Art
1
The Theory of the Art Nexus
12
The Art Nexus and the Index
28
The Involution of the Index in the Art Nexus
51
The Origination of the Index
66
The Critique of the Index
73
The Distributed Person
96
Style and Culture
155
Conclusion The Extended Mind
221
BIBLIOGRAPHY
259
INDEX
265
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Despre autor (1998)

The late Alfred Gell was a Reader in Social Anthropology at London School of Economics.

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