1. preview16When something is other it simply means something different from what you are familiar with.  Inherently neither good nor bad, just different.  Yet there is a pejorative connotation attached to other that it is some how less. There is a mystery to that which is not your’s/familiar.  Other is an unknown entity. Perhaps by being undefined and ‘mysterious’ we infer that negative sense, because we cannot anticipate and are perhaps a little are afraid of the unknown. If the ‘other’ were to be spelled out would it seem mysterious or just different?  For example if I say ‘Look at thoseshoulder_mask_nimba_louvre_mhnt-eth-af127 statues over there.’, you have no idea what to picture, but probably come up with something like Michelangelo, because that is what is most familiar.  With that picture in mind if the statues turn out to be anything but that you’ll have to do a double take without meaning to compare the two statues.  Whereas if I say ‘ Look at those African statues over there.’  You can begin to picture African art and the statues will be far less surprising.  By taking the mystery out of other does it make it less other?
  2. While mostly disproved as not a reliable way to look at art it is still worth pondering.  Do you see any value judgements that are universal?  Anything within our white midwestern culture?  A smaller culture ie Hope or your hometown or some other small community?
  3. This book was published in 1992, a time before the internet as we know it.  Since 1992 has the deliberate or accidental exclusion of an artist’s works or culture in general become a subject that is discussed more in 2017
    ?  In other words has our societal awareness to the exclusion of ‘other’ become greater and has it been aided by the connectivity of the internet? (p.29)  
  4. What is it that so closely relates women with primitivism?  A question of genuine ignorance to the subject, but what was happening in the in the art world or more broadly socially in 1970s and 80s that would have caused this association to be liberating?  Is that passage referring to just the increased representation of women or the association? (p. 32,33)
  5. Anthropology and art history are pretty closely related.  Why do the two fields clash in practice?  Is there a way to defuse the situation and find a common ground.

Katelyn Kiner – Hope College – 2017

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