workshop Circulating Crafts: Art, Agency, and the Making of Identities (1600-2000) – 24 janvier 2018 – Paris
Circulation and imitation of cultural products are key factors in shaping the material world – as well as identities. Many objects or techniques that came to be seen as local, authentic, and typical are in fact entangled in complex transnational narratives tied to a history of imperialism, and the commercial phenomenon of supply and demand.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, artists and craftspeople in Europe appropriated foreign techniques such as porcelain, textiles, or lacquers that eventually shaped local European identities. During the 19th century, Western consumers looked for genuine goods produced outside of industry, and the demand of Bourgeois tourism created a new market of authentic souvenirs and forgeries alike. Furthermore, the 20th century saw the (re)-emergence of local “Schools” of art and crafts as responses to political changes, anthropological research, and/or tourist demand. This multi-parts conference will explore how technical knowledge, immaterial desires, and political agendas impacted the production and consumption of visual and material culture in different times and places. A new scrutiny of this back and forth between demanders and suppliers will allow us to map anew a multidirectional market for cultural goods in which the source countries could be positioned at the center.