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At the same time whimsical and thought-provoking, Fluxus explored everyday life as an object of art. Behind mundane materials and activities, we find a large network of Fluxus artists who worked together for decades to create and share their art. This publication builds on archival materials that expose the nature of the artists’ working relationships, and methods for collaboration and circulation of artworks. It traces both people and things, exploring how the network expanded and was made solid, from Fluxus’s conception in the 1960s, to the 1990s, when it had eventually left its stealth flight under art history’s radar.
Volume Editors: and
The Social Lives of Chinese Objects is the first anthology of texts to apply Arjun Appadurai’s well-known argument on the social life of things to the discussion of artefacts made in China. The essays in this book look at objects as “things-in-motion,” a status that brings attention to the history of transmissions ensuing after the time and conditions of their production. How does the identity of an object change as a consequence of geographical relocation and/ or temporal transference? How do the intentions of the individuals responsible for such transfers affect the later status and meaning of these objects? The materiality of the things analyzed in this book, and visualized by a rich array of illustrations, varies from bronze to lacquered wood, from clay to porcelain, and includes painting, imperial clothing, and war spoils. Metamorphoses of value, status, and function as well as the connections with the individuals who managed them, such as collectors, museum curators, worshipers, and soldiers are also considered as central to the discussion of their life. Presenting a broader and more contextual reading than that traditionally adopted by art-historical scholarship, the essays in this book take on a multidisciplinary approach that helps to expose crucial elements in the life of these Chinese things and brings to light the cumulative motives making them relevant and meaningful to our present time.
Following the Tea Ritual from China to West Africa
Green tea, imported from China, occupies an important place in the daily lives of Malians. They spend so much time preparing and consuming the sugared beverage that it became the country’s national drink. To find out how Malians came to practice the tea ritual, this study follows the beverage from China to Mali on its historical trade routes halfway around the globe. It examines the circumstances of its introduction, the course of the tea ritual, the equipment to prepare and consume it, and the meanings that it assumed in the various places on its travel across geographical regions, political economies, cultural contexts, and religious affiliations.
Volume Editors: and
The Mediality of Sugar probes the potential of reading sugar as a mediator across some of the disciplinary distinctions in early twenty-first century research in the arts, literature, architecture, and popular culture. Selected artistic practices and material cultures of sugar across Europe and the Americas from the sixteenth to the twenty-first century are investigated and connected to the transcontinental and transoceanic history of the sugar plants cane and beet, their botanical and cultural dissemination, and global sugar capital and trade under colonialism and in decoloniality. The collection contributes to the vision of a Transnational and Postdisciplinary Sugar Studies.
Volume Editors: and
How do objects become contested in settings characterized by (violent) conflict? Why are some things contested by religious actors? How do religious actors mobilize things in conflict situations and how are conflict and violence experienced by religious groups? This volume explores relations between materiality, religion, and violence by drawing upon two fields of scholarship that have rarely engaged with one another: research on religion and (violent) conflict and the material turn within religious studies. This way, this volume sets the stage for the development of new conceptual and methodological directions in the study of religion-related violent conflict that takes materiality seriously.
Commercial Networks, Brand Creation and Intellectual Property
Every month tons of green tea travel from China to West Africa in a movement that largely thrives beyond the attention of Western observers. In this trade, Malian merchants assumed a central role. They travel to China, visit family gardens and the factories, which process and package the product. Together with their Chinese suppliers, they select the tea leaves and create their brand. On Bamako’s largest market, the Grand Marché, more than a hundred different tea brands are found, whose packages have colourfully, often eye-catching designs with brand-names such as Gazelle, Tombouctou, Arafat and Obama. This book explores the unique tea culture that celebrates with its brands the strength of desert animals, the fading glory of trading places, the excitement of social events and the accomplishments of admired politicians.
(The open access version of this book has been published with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation.) The book proposes a reassessment of royal portraiture and its function in the Middle Ages via a comparative analysis of works from different areas of the Mediterranean world, where images are seen as only one outcome of wider and multifarious strategies for the public mise-en-scène of the rulers’ bodies. Its emphasis is on the ways in which medieval monarchs in different areas of the Mediterranean constructed their outward appearance and communicated it by means of a variety of rituals, object-types, and media.
Contributors are Michele Bacci, Nicolas Bock, Gerardo Boto Varela, Branislav Cvetković, Sofia Fernández Pozzo, Gohar Grigoryan Savary, Elodie Leschot, Vinni Lucherini, Ioanna Rapti, Juan Carlos Ruiz Souza, Marta Serrano-Coll, Lucinia Speciale, Manuela Studer-Karlen, Mirko Vagnoni, and Edda Vardanyan.
This interdisciplinary volume is a ‘one-stop location’ for the most up-to-date scholarship on Southern Levantine figurines in the Iron Age. The essays address terracotta figurines attested in the Southern Levant from the Iron Age through the Persian Period (1200–333 BCE). The volume deals with the iconography, typology, and find context of female, male, animal, and furniture figurines and discusses their production, appearance, and provenance, including their identification and religious functions. While giving priority to figurines originating from Phoenicia, Philistia, Jordan, and Israel/Palestine, the volume explores the influences of Egyptian, Anatolian, Mesopotamian, and Mediterranean (particularly Cypriot) iconography on Levantine pictorial material.
The Spatial Practices series is premised on the observation that places are inscribed with cultural meaning, not least of all in terms of collective constructions of identity. Such space-based constructions can manifest in material and immaterial, explicit and implicit forms of heritage, and they are crucial factors in the promotion of a group’s wellbeing. It is this intersection of spaces, heritage and wellbeing that the present volume takes at its object. It considers ways in which institutional spaces in their materiality as well as in their cultural inscriptions impact on the wellbeing of the subjects inhabiting them and explores how heritage comes to bear on these interrelations within specific institutions, such as prisons, hospitals or graveyards.
Women, Media, and Colonial Modernity During the Interwar Years
Author:
The East Asian Modern Girl reports the long-neglected experiences of modern women in East Asia during the interwar period. The edited volume includes original studies on the modern girl in Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, Japan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, which reveal differentiated forms of colonial modernity, influences of global media and the struggles of women at the time. The advent of the East Asian modern girl is particularly meaningful for it signifies a separation from traditional Confucian influences and progression toward global media and capitalism, which involves high political and economic tension between the East and West. This book presents geo-historical investigations on the multi-force triggered phenomenon and how it eventually contributed to greater post-war transformations.