1st Edition

Global Art in Local Art Worlds Changing Hierarchies of Value

    318 Pages 34 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the attribution and local negotiation of cultural valuations of artistic and art-institutional practices around the world, and considers the diverse ways in which these value attributions intersect with claims of universality and cosmopolitanism. Taking Michael Herzfeld’s notion of the “global hierarchy of value” as point of departure, the volume brings together six empirical studies of the collection, circulation, classification and exhibition of objects in present-day Brazil, China, India, Japan, South Africa and Indigenous Australia in light of Europe’s loss of global hegemony. Including reflections by a number of senior scholars, 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.

    Introduction: Global Art in Local Art Worlds and the Global Hierarchy of Value

    Oscar Salemink

    Reflection 1: Going Beyond, notes on cultural valuations and spatial difference

    Hou Hanru

    Part 1: Tropicalism and canonization

    1 Inhotim, an international tropical museum: Distinction and the canonization of Brazilian Avant-Gardes

    Amélia Siegel Corrêa

    Reflection 2: The tropics as convention and consecration

    Lilia Moritz Schwarcz

    Reflection 3: Is there a Global Cannon? Reflections on World Art History

    Nora A. Taylor

    Part 2: recognition and ambivalence

    2 Ambivalent Art at the Tip of a Continent: the Zeitz MOCAA and its Quest for Global Recognition

    Vibe Nielsen

    Reflection 4: Recognition

    Michael Rowlands

    Reflection 5: Ambivalence and the racial politics of value

    Deborah Posel

    Part 3: Global circulation of ideas and universality

    3 A local universal modernity: World-Heritagizing Le Corbusier’s building for the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo

    Jens Sejrup

    Reflection 6: The role of public statuary in the global circulation of ideas

    Sven Saaler

    Reflection 7: Provincializing the universal

    Peter Pels

    Part 4: Curation and authorization

    4 Curatorship and authorization in Chinese contemporary art institutions

    Oscar Salemink

    Reflection 8: Curation

    Pi Li

    Reflection 9: Authorization

    Parul Dave Mukherji

    Part 5: Validation and circuits of valuation

    5 From Mumbai to London: Co-constituting value in art from India via local and global circuits of valuation

    Olga Kanzaki Sooudi

    Reflection 10: Validation and the global hierarchy of value: moving in a rugged landscape

    João Rickli

    Reflection 11: A mandala of value: A granular approach to art valuation across geopolitical fragments

    Manuela Ciotti

    Part 6: Indigenous art and Indigenous cultural capital

    6: Re-collecting, Re-classifying, Re-ordering: Indigenous Art and the Contemporary Australian Art Field

    Tony Bennett

    Reflection 12: Indigenous protagonism and its impact on the Brazilian art system

    Ilana Seltzer Goldstein

    Reflection 13: Indigenous Art: Decolonization through the Looking Glass

    Ruth B. Phillips

    Afterword: Agency and Hierarchy in the Creation of Aesthetic Value

    Michael Herzfeld


    Oscar Salemink is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Amélia Siegel Corrêa is an independent curator, researcher and a Lecturer in Art History at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana, Brazil.

    Jens Sejrup is Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark with a joint appointment in the Departments of Anthropology and Cross-cultural and Regional Studies.

    Vibe Nielsen is affiliated as postdoctoral researcher at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, UK, where she is a Junior Research Fellow at Linacre College.

    "This timely and fascinating collection asks whether we have reached an important juncture in those all-important, yet rarely revealed, hierarchies of value that shape global discourses of art, culture and heritage. Going beyond decolonisation debates that privilege Europe and America, the essays here richly analyse other geographies, other institutional histories and practices, against a shifting global economy and geopolitics. Accessible and interdisciplinary, the book will be of interest to students and scholars interested in international trends in the politics and policy of heritage, museums, and market circulations of art." - Tim Winter, National University of Singapore

    "Artists and anthropologists have long been stimulated by each others’ methods and work. It’s therefore paradoxical that contemporary anthropology has shied away from interpreting or theorising the increasingly dynamic and prominent worlds of contemporary art. This book, which interweaves deeply researched case studies with reflections by some of the most eminent ethnographers and theorists working today reveals how fertile and exciting the field could be." - Nicholas Thomas, University of Cambridge, UK