A Return to the Object: Alfred Gell, Art, and Social Theory by Susanne Kuchler
This book draws on the work of anthropologist Alfred Gell to reinstate the importance of the object in art and society. Rather than presenting art as a passive recipient of the artist's intention and the audience's critique, the authors consider it in the social environment of its production and reception.
A Return to the Object introduces the historical and theoretical framework out of which an anthropology of art has emerged, and examines the conditions under which it has renewed interest. It also explores what art 'does' as a social and cultural phenomenon, and how it can impact alternative ways of organising and managing knowledge. Making use of ethnography, museological practice, the intellectual history of the arts and sciences, material culture studies and intangible heritage, the authors present a case for the re-orientation of current conversations surrounding the anthropology of art and social theory.
This text will be of key interest to students and scholars in the social and historical sciences, arts and humanities, and cognitive sciences.