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By A. Schneider

How the "traffic in tradition" is practiced, rationalized and skilled through visible artists within the globalized global. The ebook makes a speciality of creative practices within the appropriation of indigenous cultures, and the development of recent Latin American identities. Appropriation is the basic theoretical idea built to appreciate those procedures.

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Extra info for Appropriation as Practice: Art and Identity in Argentina

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For instance, 28 APPROPRIATION AS PRACTICE the term is conspicuously absent from most subject indexes, including Gell (1998). One exception is Marcus and Myers (1995), who suggest that appropriation . . concerns the art world’s ideology, discursive practices, or microtechnologies for assimilating difference (other cultural materials) in various ways. Such an assimilation of difference is generally accomplished by stripping cultural materials of their original context, or using representations of an original context in such a way as to allow for an embedding of this influence within the activities and interests of producing art.

For art critics and writers, as for other comparable professions, economic stability and a fixed rate of exchange against the Dollar also implied that their fees were paid in hard currency and, more often than in the past, on time. As one critic expressed it in a conversation with me, “money was circulating,” and the “chain of payments” was functioning. The cultural developments during the Menem years (1989–1999) are complex and no attempt is made here to treat them comprehensively. In terms of state spending on the arts, Argentina still lagged behind others, notably Brazil.

As if any further proof were needed, the deep economic and political crisis into which Argentina plunged at the end of 2001 provided more evidence that state institutions were bankrupt, and many of them are perceived by ordinary Argentines as corrupt and run by functionaries just for their own interest. This more complicated and confused situation, however, seems to open new chances for artists and galleries contesting the traditional frameworks, both in terms of power and ideology. This book demonstrates, after a more theoretical discussion on appropriation in the following chapter, how artists develop specific strategies of appropriation in order to reposition themselves in terms of identity vis-à-vis the dominant ideologies of melting pot and immigrant nations, which were reviewed in previous sections.

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