Art & Otherness: Crisis in Cultural Identity (Documentext)

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9780929701219: Art & Otherness: Crisis in Cultural Identity (Documentext)

Directly following the internationally acclaimed Art & Discontent, Thomas McEvilley argues in Art & Otherness for an advanced anthropological perspective that contravenes conventional thinking in the visual arts, and leads to a concept of artistic globalization. The description of Western culture as superior and in opposition to other cultures of the world preoccupied our aesthetic philosophy for at least 200 years, whether or not explicitly stated. That argument was undertaken in various guises, especially as the historical determinism of Hegel which proposed to quantify human "progress." Recently, however, the term "multiculturalism" has come to signify a post-Modern understanding of how visual arts transgress artificial boundaries, and of how there may now exist, perhaps for the first time in history, a post-colonial globalism in the arts freed of ethnocentric value judgements. In these ten crucial essays, McEvilley clarifies how the presentation of art can determine its reception, how "influence" can be bi-directional, how "otherness" serves to define "self," and how art need not necessarily lose its meaningfulness when stripped of badges of universality. Once again illustrating his argument by drawing upon an array of sources and cultures, Thomas McEvilley demonstrates that the post-Modern crisis in cultural identity demands an imaginative, integrating response.

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About the Author:

Thomas McEvilley received a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Cincinnati and taught at Rice University from 1969 to 2005. He has written hundreds of articles, catalogue essays, and reviews in the field of contemporary art, as well as important monographs on Yves Klein, Jannis Kounellis, Anish Kapoor, among others. A contributing editor to Artforum since 1982, he has also served as editor-in-chief of Contemoranea. Author of three published novels, most recently the controversial North of Yesterday (also with McPherson & Company), he has published a book of poems and made various contributions to literary magazines. In addition to a fourth novel in progress, Dr. McEvilley recently published The Shape of Ancient Thought: A Comparative Study of Greek and Indian Philosophies, and The Triumph of Anti-Art: Conceptual and Performance Art in the Formation of Post-Modernism.

From Publishers Weekly:

McEvilley views multiculturalism in the visual arts as a positive force, part of a historic process of decolonialization, as Third World and Eastern European countries struggle to reconstruct their cultural identities. In 10 invigorating essays previously pubished in Artforum, ART/artifact and elsewhere, he assails formalist modernism as a moribund project and seeks ways of relating to the culturally "other" free of Eurocentric bias. Beginning with a slashing critique of a 1984 exhibition on primitivism at Manhattan's Museum of Modern Art, McEvilley, a contributing editor to Artforum, goes on to consider the reception of African art in the West, postmodernism as a "global pluralization" of art, contemporary exhibition strategies and how painters in India have oscillated between Western-style individualism and the weight of collective tradition. Despite some overlap, these erudite essays reward and challenge with their overarching vision of a global artistic culture.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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McEvilley, Thomas
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McEvilley, Thomas
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