22 February 2023

Global Art in Local Art Worlds: Changing Hierarchies of Value

CoverProfessor Oscar Salemink and Assistant Professor Jens Sejrup co-edited, together with former Copenhagen anthropology colleagues Amélia Siegel Corrêa and Vibe Nielsen, the book Global Art in Local Art Worlds: Changing Hierarchies of Value.

In the book the contributors seek to answer the broad question whether tectonic geopolitical shifts that we can daily read about in the news are attended by corresponding geocultural changes.

Exploring the attribution and local negotiation of cultural valuations of artistic and art- institutional practices around the world, the book considers the diverse ways in which these value attributions intersect with claims of universality and cosmopolitanism. Taking Michael Herzfeld’s concept of the “global hierarchy of value” as point of departure, the volume brings together six  ethnographic studies of the collection, circulation, classification and exhibition of objects in (and out of) present-day Brazil (Amélia Siegel Corrêa), Japan (Jens Sejrup), China (Oscar Salemink), India (Olga Kanzaki Sooudi), South Africa (Vibe Nielsen), and Indigenous Australia (Tony Bennett), in light of Euro-America’s loss of global hegemony.

The chapters demonstrate that the question of valuation lies at the heart of artistic and art-institutional practices writ large – including museum practices, museum architecture, galleries, auction houses, art fairs and biennales.

Each empirical chapter highlights two concepts that were fruitfully used in the ethnographic analysis, and is followed by two short essays reflecting on the wider relevance of these concepts, within and beyond the localized context of the chapter, written by well-known anthropologists, cultural sociologists, art historians, and art curators.

The book is preceded by an Introduction by Salemink laying out the theoretical foundations and implications of the book with reference to processes of valuation, exchange, changing hierarchies, and notions of universality. The book ends with a gracious Afterword: Agency and Hierarchy in the Creation of Aesthetic Value, by Michael Herzfeld.

The book is published in the Materializing Culture series, edited by Daniel Miller and Paul Gilroy for Routledge, and received glowing endorsements from Tim Winter and Nicholas Thomas.

The book is one of the outcomes of the project “Global Europe: Constituting Europe from the outside in through artefacts” through grant DFF- 4180– 00073 in its “Sapere Aude: DFF Top Researchers” programme, awarded in 2015 to Oscar Salemink.

Read the publication as open access herehttps://doi.org/10.4324/9781003128908