Journal article

Art and Anthropology beyond Beautiful Representations: The Material Hyperreality of Artistic Ethnography

Sergio Jarillo de la Torre

Laboratorium: Russian Review of Social Research | Centre for Social Research (CISR) | Published : 2013


This paper takes its cue from two art objects that can be considered in themselves as nontextual experiments in ethnographic research. The series Museum Photographs by Thomas Struth, as Guggenheim Museum curators put it, “captures anonymous individuals and crowds looking at iconic works of Western art in the world’s most popular museums.” More than the aesthetic value of the artwork and its meaning, Struth’s reflection emphasizes the audience’s reaction to the art object, evidencing his concern with the social potential of artworks in the art world. In a similar way, Christoph Büchel puts the public at the center of his installation Simply Botiful by soliciting affective responses to hyperre..

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