Bringing in contemporary art

by Liam M. Buckley

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How might the making of art offer approaches and procedures for anthropologists who seek to incorporate contemporary art into their own fieldwork and scholarship? Recent anthropological inquiries into contemporary art have generated a range of results, including artworks made by anthropologists and by artists who engage with anthropological theories, scholarly concepts of artworks not as illustrations of questions already answered but as ways of changing how questions emerge in the first place, and aesthetics of fieldwork centered on curiosity, wonder, and curatorial disposition. The making of contemporary artworks thus indicates a set of theories and methods for anthropologically observing the world.