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Art as a Mode of Action: Some Problems with Gell's Art and Agency

Morphy, Howard


This article is a dialogue with the theoretical arguments of Alfred Gell's book Art and Agency. While strongly supporting an action-oriented perspective on art it is argued that Gell's argument deflects attention away from human agency by attributing agency to the objects themselves. It is argued that the very properties of art that Gell excludes from his definition of art objects and largely from his analyses - aesthetics and semantics - are integral to understanding art as a way of acting in...[Show more]

CollectionsANU Research Publications
Date published: 2009
Type: Journal article
Source: Journal of Material Culture
DOI: 10.1177/1359183508100006


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