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Description - The Death of Authentic Primitive Art and Other Tales of Progress by Shelly Errington

This text argues that primitive art was invented as a new type of art object at the beginning of the 20th-century, but that at the century's end it has died. Authenticity and primitivism, both attacked by cultural critics, have died as concepts. The author argues that the construction of the primitive in the 19th and 20th centuries must be understood as a product of discourses of progress. Ranging through the worlds of museums, art theorists, boutiques, tourism and world events, the text traces a historical account of the transformations of meanings of primitive art in this century. The author also explores a collection of public sites in Mexico and Indonesia; a museum of anthropology; a cultural theme park; an airport; and a 9th-century Buddhist monument, to show how the idea of the primitive can be used in the interests of promoting nationalism and economic development.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780520212114
ISBN-10: 0520212118
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 28mm)
Pages: 335
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 7-Dec-1998
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Shelly Errington

Shelly Errington is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, author of Meaning and Power in a Southeast Asian Realm (1989), and coeditor of Power and Difference: Gender in Island Southeast Asia (1990).

Books By Shelly Errington