Subverting the venue: A critical exhibition of pre-Columbian objects at Krannert Art Museum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

My temporary exhibition in Krannert Art Museum, The Social Context of Violence in Ancient Peruvian Art (March 27-May 23, 2004), is transgressive and self-critical. While presenting a small number of objects in the university art museum's collection that depict ancient violence (battles, human sacrifice, and trophy head taking), the exhibition simultaneously argues that the objects themselves are the result of violence, specifically to the archaeological record through the act of looting. The exhibition further suggests that the looters are themselves the victims of a failed national economic system that does not enable them to earn a living wage as farmers and of an exploitative international art market that similarly pays them little for objects that become immensely valuable (financially and culturally) once out of the country. Museums, and especially university museums, may be enabling venues for the interrogation of their own hegemonic practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)732-738
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Volume106
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

Keywords

  • Collecting
  • Looting
  • Museum anthropology
  • Pre-Columbian art

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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