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From of, to with, to and? Anti-disciplinary exhibition making with art and anthropology.

Clarke, Jen



Roger Sansi


As lines between 'social practice' in art and social research blur, anthropologists are increasingly taking on curatorial roles in contemporary art settings and/or employing artistic methodologies in exhibition-making. This chapter explores some dynamics of anthropology and art practice in this broad context by discussing specific experiences of being 'curator' and being 'curated', looking at forms of identity, knowledge and, warily, aesthetics. The exhibition Speculative Ground included different forms of curation. Collaborations with anthropology should begin by questioning existing relations. It is precisely the fact that anthropology is constituted by knowledge that is responsible for its 'underdeveloped aesthetic'. Convergences in art and anthropology can be seen in terms of inter- or transdisciplinarity. There are many definitions related to integrating or exchanging knowledge across subject boundaries. Developing clearer understandings of 'resistances' as well as the convergences would help establish the ground for a 'hybrid' work.


CLARKE, J. 2020. From of, to with, to and? Anti-disciplinary exhibition making with art and anthropology. In Sansi, R. (ed.) The anthropologist as curator. Abingdon: Routledge [online], chapter 8, pages 133-146. Available from:

Acceptance Date Aug 20, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 26, 2019
Publication Date May 27, 2020
Deposit Date Feb 5, 2020
Publicly Available Date Jun 27, 2021
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 133-146
Book Title The anthropologist as curator
Chapter Number 8
ISBN 9781350081901
Keywords Contemporary art; Anthropology; Ethnography; Artists; Museums
Public URL


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