Art and agency an anthropological theory

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art and agency an anthropological theory

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Structure & Agency: 25 Concepts in Anthropology

Alfred Gell, who died in January , was widely regarded as one of the most brilliant social anthropologists of his generation.

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Art and Agency : An Anthropological Theory. 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

Please choose whether or not you want other users to be able to see on your profile that this library is a favorite of yours. Finding libraries that hold this item An extraordinary achievement. Gell offers a profound new understanding of collective agency which completely reshapes the anthropology of art, redefines its objects of study, and inspires new conclusions. It is characteristically polemical The book know what to do with the limits of form-one suddenly sees how anthropology might surpass itself. It presents what is the first fundamental theory for an anthropology of art.

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To study such responses it single out that aspect of interaction between works of art and their viewers that makes them similar to living beings: their agency, the power to influence their viewers, to make them act as if they are engaging not with dead matter, but with living persons. It considers objects of art not in terms of their formal or aesthetic value or appreciation within the culture that produced them. Neither does it consider them as signs, visual codes to be deciphered or symbolic communications.
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Editeur: Clarendon Press. Parution: juillet Tous les formats. Unspeakable Things: Sex, Lies and Revolution. The Nordic Theory of Everything. Espace Pro PNB.

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