© 2006

Appropriation as Practice

Art and Identity in Argentina

  • Authors

Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)

About this book


How the "traffic in culture" is practiced, rationalized and experienced by visual artists in the globalized world. The book focuses on artistic practices in the appropriation of indigenous cultures, and the construction of new Latin American identities. Appropriation is the fundamental theoretical concept developed to understand these processes.


culture Design identity

About the authors

ARND SCHNEIDER is Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo, Norway.

Bibliographic information


"A superb ethnography of Argentine artists who feel as much alienated from their European roots as disenchanted by the Western cultural project, and are refashioning a new Argentine identity through the aesthetic appropriation of contemporary and pre-Columbian indigenous cultural expressions." - Antonius C.G.M. Robben, Utrecht University, Netherlands

"Arnd Schneider's metholdologically innovative study, Appropriation as Practice, makes a key contribution to the exciting reconfiguration of the anthropology of art that is underway at present. This is the most sustained ethnographic analysis of contemporary art yet undertaken by an anthropologist, and its nuanced accounts of identity and appropriation are important, beyond the Argentinian case that is focussed on here." - Nicholas Thomas, Professor of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College

"Arnd Schneider changes the way we think about national identity construction by analyzing the spaces that link the indigenous and European imaginaries in Buenos Aires. Using an approach that combines ethnography, archeology and art history, Appropriation as Practice looks at artists rather than the objects that they produce. In doing so, Schneider touches on topics like globalization, ethnicity and anthropological research techniques. In the end Schneider's book goes well beyond the questions of artistic production and identity construction by proposing new theories and methods for analyzing 'otherness.' It is this range that makes Appropriation as Practice required reading in numerous fields including Latin American Studies, Anthropology, Cultural Studies and Ethnic Studies." - Jeffrey Lesser, Winship Distinguished Research Professor of the Humanities, Emory University