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. L’objectif du dernier ouvrage d’Alfred Gell, achevĂ© juste avant sa disparition en , texte profus en passe de devenir un classique outre-Manche, est de. In his book, Art and agency, Alfred Gell presents a theory of art based neither on aes- thetics nor Gell sets out to provide an anthropological theory of art, rather.

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Alfred Gell

A Clarendon Press Publication. Alfred Gell puts forward a new anthropological theory of visual art, seen as a form of instrumental action: 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 a 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.

Alfred Gell, Art and Agency. An Anthropological Theory

Art and Agency was completed just before Alfred Gell’s death at the age of 51 in January It embodies the intellectual bravura, lively wit, vigour, and erudition for which he was admired, and will stand as an enduring anghropological to one of the most gifted anthropologists of his generation.

Foreword, Nicholas Thomas 1. The Need for an Anthropology of Art 2.

The Theory of the Art Nexus 3. The Afred Nexus and the Index 4. The Involution of the Index in the Art Nexus 5.

Art and Agency

The Origination of the Index 6. The Critique of the Index 7. The Distributed Person 8. Style and Culture 9.

File:Gell Alfred Art and Agency An Anthropological – Monoskop

The Extended Mind Bibliography Index. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.


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It can be ordered now for delivery when back in stock. Ebook This title is available as an ebook. To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider. The best book by one of the leading anthropologists of his generation.

Beautifully written, in a lively and erudite style. Enriched by a fascinating selection of illustrations. The Politics of Consolation Christina Simko. Humanity in a Creative Universe Stuart A.

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