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By A. Schneider

This e-book makes a massive contribution to the present debate on globalization, and extra accurately to the query of the way the "traffic in tradition" is practiced, rationalized and skilled via visible artists. The ebook specializes in creative practices within the appropriation of indigenous cultures, and the development of recent Latin American identities. Appropriation is the elemental theoretical idea built to appreciate those procedures.

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Extra info for Appropriation as Practice: Art and Identity in Argentina (Studies of the Americas)

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Emblematic of Argentina’s changed economic climate in the 1990s, representative for the new consumer tastes of the young, upwardly mobile, and a bold statement by big investors—thus porteños perceived the development of the Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires’ port (first built in 1898), through which many of the country’s imports and exports, including millions of immigrants, had passed. The port had been derelict and hardly used for decades, and investors seized upon the opportunity in the early 1990s: Warehouses were turned into lofts, with the lower floors converted into upmarket shops and restaurants, and the docksides into walking malls, an attempt to emulate redevelopments at London’s Docklands, Hamburg’s Speicherstadt, and many other port areas around the world.

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. 5 percent (Golonbek 2001: 102). 5 million in 1999; cf. Golonbek 2001: 66), but they were nothing compared to the acquisition budgets of the prime institutions in Europe and North America. 22 Argentine cinema, too, made new strides, with a host of young directors leaving behind the more politically informed films of opposition and exile (epitomized by Fernando “Pino” Solanas and others), and taking up the challenges by a more unorthodox narrative cinema, and new ways of directing, embodied in international cinema by, for example, Quentin Tarantino (and his emblematic film Pulp Fiction) and the Dogme group around Lars von Trier.

Ethnographic sites have now become a theoretical and practical preoccupation for artists, theoreticians of art, and anthropologists working on the border crossings between art and anthropology (see Coles 2000, Schneider/Wright 2006). Also, in this chapter I aim to explore the notions of “Western,” “Latin American” and “indigenous” art as they are conceptualized by the participating urban actors, such as artists, critics, gallery owners, and museum curators. Buenos Aires: A “Peripheral” Art World?

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