With his seminal essay ‘The artist as ethnographer?’, Hal Foster () put the. ‘ ethnographic turn’ in contemporary art high on the agenda of cultural studies. Reading: Hal Foster: The Artist as Ethnographer. Some Key Points: Assumption that the site of artistic transformation is the site of political. This paper calls for an ethnographic turn in art scholarship that It has been almost twenty years since the publication of Hal Foster’s.

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It doesn’t displace this productivist problematic enough, because it tends to preserve the structure of the political, to retain the notion of a subject of history, to define this position in terms of truth and to locate this truth in terms of alterity. So is the methodology used an important issue to discuss at all? Though these characters are my creation, the structures of feeling are not.

Does this count as fieldwork? Conclusion I have shown that art is open to different interpretations depending on the model used. He re-enchants these found objects with subversive narratives about the politics of foreign intervention. These contemporary art practices provide means for apprehending the performative aspects of quotidian experience, embodied meaning, affective intensity, and agency of objects and images.

Ethnography is the scientific description of the customs of peoples and cultures. After this encounter, Tata refused to take my calls and when I saw him at Al Madina Theatre he acted as if he had never met me. The impossibility of representing the political violence in Lebanon is of course debatable in the strict sense, however, more than the idea of a prohibited practice, ‘impossibility’ serves as a critical muse.

In this video Orlow mixes the empirical footage of his visit to Benin and historical facts together with the fictional device of the third-person female voice as a narrator by casting himself as if in a play with the character he meets.

He explains the rationale of this project, based on the notion of an addendum to a written document, as accentuating the idea of an afterthought. For many artists, like Walid Raad, Lamia Joreige, Jalal Toufic, Tony Chakar, among many others, their work conjures the impossible in order to undercut the taken-for-granted assumptions about representational possibilities. Westmoreland as a aritst swept up into cosmopolitan geopolitics. This article may be too technical for most readers to understand.


In the face of personal and communal suffering, media saturation, ideological machinations, historical density, and inaccessible lived experiences, neither art nor anthropology can hope to ratist something as abstract as the ‘Lebanese civil war’. He said that the question is to engage with the relationship. While he interrogates the meaning of a diplomatic mission and the ubiquitous presence of American expatriates living in the Middle East, one cannot help but be struck by the ordinary ways in which these individuals talk about their experience.

Over the years, the institution of art, could no longer be described simply in terms of physical space – studio, gallery, museum etc – it was a discursive network of other practices and institutions, other subjectivities and communities. Accordingly, we can see Tata’s work as revisionary. They too need to keep a profile within their discipline and retain scarce university jobs. Orlow explained that the most interesting part of his time in Benin was to discover ehtnographer the bronzes are still being made today, depicting the same histories as the looted ones.

Marcus and Fred R. Based on my own research with filmmakers and mixed media artists in Lebanon, the idea of making sense – not based on comprehension per se, but rather on sensory experience – is productive for engaging work that deals with incomprehensible lived experiences.

Westmoreland’s belongings to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Her account of the work of Sophie Calle explains how the artist has used methodologies from ethnography in recording the outcome of her relations with others.

The courts identify Marhaba Tata as one ‘P. Miwon Kwon explains that in debates within the disciplines of anthropology and art there has been a growing criticism of ethnographic authority and artistic authorship. Anthropologists are more likely to specialize in a particular region of the world, learn the native language and frequently return. Each of which are also types of afterthoughts.



In this way he tries to erode the distinction between institutional and social space and between the audience and the aa. The key concern for Foster is not only the easy conversion of materials and experiences of local everyday life into an anthropological exhibit….

He spent six months undertaking historical research for this project at the Fsoter Library in the British Museum before he went to Nigeria. The Benin Project fig Marhaba Tata’s subversive ideology runs deeper than merely experimental art, he has also been accused of assuming a false identity.

Introduction The incorporation of cultural differences into art has a long history where artists have used the data of ethnography as source material for their work.

But could Orlow be following Miwon Kwon argument p2 in turning to ethnographic methodologies of fieldwork and collecting evidence to reconcile practice and theory? In other words, for the relationship between artists and anthropologists to be most productive, there needs to be greater sharing of our respective practices, theoretical concepts, and methodological toolkits. James Clifford Interview, in Site-Specificity: These are ideas that are likewise central to anthropological understanding.

The prefix “trans” suggests liminalitya quality of ‘in between-ness’, valuing cultures ‘in between’ predominant cultures. When he learned my name, however, he became instantly excitable and seemed rather suspicious.

Foster, “The Artist as Ethnographer” annotation by Brandon Hopkins

The Case of Sophie Calle. He concentrates especially on site-specific art noting that a site may be special or temporal, artiat community or an institution, etc. The video shows a roll call of museums and collectors holding the Benin Bronzes around the world and in history.