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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These are ideas that are likewise central to anthropological understanding. Lastly, rather than fixating on the notions of artist-envy and ethnographer-envy, which works to police disciplinary borders, I am interested in methodological borrowings across these vocational structures.

So even here Orlow is defying the anthropological mode of viewing and does not allow us to situate these workers in a broader cultural context. The interface between art practices and ethnographic enquiry provides a key site for apprehending the ethnogrpaher potential of ficto-criticism to momentarily crystallize these imaginaries.

The space of this essay does not allow me to fully grapple with the nuances of Foster’s argument, however, a few comments are in order.

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.

Westmoreland’s belongings to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Of course, the evocation of these objects as sensitive material could be read another way, but Marhaba Tata did not seem interested in re-embodying P.

Posted by Uditi Shah at The outcome of the case required that Marhaba Tata stop making claims that involved the Tata Group and family, but could continue to use Marhaba Tata as a pseudonym. And yet, the film removes the questions, thus eliminating the context for answers that at times seem confrontational and at other times nonsensical. Firstly, Foster relies on an antiquated notion of ethnography that most anthropologists now rigorously scrutinize. He spent six months undertaking historical research for this project at the Ethnography Library in the British Museum before he went to Nigeria.


By re-enchanting these mimetic artefacts, Lebanese documentary experimentalists break through the blockages of amnesia, to see around representational eclipses, and rupture ossified narratives that reify violence.

But he was filming there for production reasons and making work at that stage in the project, and I would suggest here, that he was unlike an anthropologist who does his research mainly in the field. Brandon Hopkins bhopkins uchicago. 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.

Naturally and unintentionally, focus can wander from ‘ethnographic self-fashioning’ in which the artist is not decentered so much as the other is fashioned in artistic guise. As such, this child remains a ghostly figure in Tata’s productions, only appearing in archival footage.


Miwon Kwon says that in Fosters view. He goes on to say that. Home Brief Timeline Panel Review. By now the reader should ual rather suspect about this narrative and the accompanying documents referenced herein. In this report I will include the work and views of an artist named Uriel Orlow whom I interviewed for this report.

In other words fieldwork is used to reconcile practice and theory. The words on these engravings are taken from museum display plaques used to describe the bronzes and appear as a catalogue of racist and colonial narratives that still ethnographeg the bronzes today.

Schneider, Arnd, and Wright, Christopher English ed. A Very Fine Cast years fig.


He posits that the site of political transformation is always perceived as being elsewhere, in the repressed ethongrapher the modern artist in the proletariat, for the fostter artist in the post-colonial, the subaltern, the subcultural—and that perception of this elsewhere is distorted by a realist assumption that the other has srtist authenticity lacking in the self and a primitivist assumption wherein there is a mapping over of the other, such that the here-and-now self is superior to the there-and-then other.


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. Marhaba Tata’s subversive ideology runs deeper than merely experimental art, he has also been accused of assuming a false identity.

Reflexivity, parody of primitivism, reversal wrtist ethnological roles—subversions of the dominate culture—potentially release the artist from self-contradiction, ideological patronage, and cultural arrogance. Self-othering can easily pass into self-absorption. This collaborative nature of her work and its temporary nature distinguishes it as relational art. Second, I utilize this narrative to draw attention to the way taken for granted personal histories reverberate with over-determined historical narratives, and yet, fostre playing with the frequency of this reverberation, narrative can ultimately critique cross-cultural representation and geopolitics through the retelling of the mundane as it intersects with the imaginary.

The work of Susan Hiller, Mark Dion and Christain Boltanski are examples of artists who work with fragments within and between cultures ethhnographer are interested in taxonomy and collecting, which are also tools used in ethnographic practice for archiving and presenting work.

Collective: Reading: Hal Foster: The Artist as Ethnographer

Assumption that the site of artistic transformation is the site of political transformation. Manchester Manchester University Press.

Les presses du reel. Also unlike anthropologists, Orlow says he would not necessarily return to the same geographical place but rather to the same underlying issues he is interested in — in his case issues of collective memory.