The artist Carl Abrahams and the cosmopolitan work of centring and peripheralizing the self
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The article looks at the work and life of Jamaican artist and 'citizen of the world' Carl Abrahams. Responding to Gell's argument that art should be thought of as a 'technology of enchantment', and to a wider approach that seeks to explain art by reference to cultural context, the article takes Abrahams own weltkenntnis, or world knowledge as its focus. The weltkenntnis of an artist, or indeed any person, is often at odds both with their surrounding cultural situation and the technical means they have to express themselves. It is never entirely possible to reduce a particular form of self-expression either to the wider worldview or to a particular set of technical effects. The article explores the conceptual tensions involved in Abrahams' claims to be a cosmopolitan artist and his work of centring and peripheralising himself in colonial and post-colonial Jamaica.
Wardle , H 2015 , ' The artist Carl Abrahams and the cosmopolitan work of centring and peripheralizing the self ' , Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute , vol. 21 , no. 4 , pp. 803-819 . https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.12288
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
© 2015 Royal Anthropological Institute. This work is made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.12288
DescriptionWinner of the 2013 J.B. Donne Essay Prize.
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