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African Art in Transit

African Art in Transit - 94 edition

ISBN13: 978-0521457521

Cover of African Art in Transit 94 (ISBN 978-0521457521)
ISBN13: 978-0521457521
ISBN10: 0521457521
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 94
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Published: 1994
International: No

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African Art in Transit - 94 edition

ISBN13: 978-0521457521

Christopher B. Steiner

ISBN13: 978-0521457521
ISBN10: 0521457521
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 94
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Published: 1994
International: No
Summary

African art in transit is an absorbing account of the commodification and circulation of African objects in the international art market today. Based on extensive field research among art traders in Cote d'Ivoire, Christopher Steiner analyzes the role of the African middleman in linking those who produce and supply works of art in Africa with those who buy and collect so-called "primitive" art in Europe and America. Moving easily from ethnographic vignette to social theory, Steiner provides a lucid interpretation which reveals not only a complex economic network with its own internal logic and rules, but also an elaborate process of transcultural valuation and exchange. By focusing directly on the intermediaries in the African art trade, he unveils a critical new perspective on how symbolic codes and economic values are produced and mediated in the context of shifting geographic and cultural domains. He calls into question conventional definitions of authenticity in African art, demonstrating how the categories "authentic" and "traditional" are continually negotiated and redefined by a plurality of market participants spread out across the globe. This book will appeal to anthropologists, art historians, and anyone interested in the production of value in the art world, the mediation of knowledge in transcultural exchange, the invention of traditional aesthetic forms, and the ethnography of trade and bargaining in a contemporary African setting.

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