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Art Gallery the Eye and the Hand

Primitive arts: political nomenclature or singular art?

Eugene Berg
Diplomat, former ambassador to Namibia, Botswana and Fiji. Author of 'Non-alignment and
New World Order '(PUF, 1980),' The International Politics since 1955 '(Economica, 1990) and' Chronology
internati''o''nale: 1945-1997 '(PUF, "Que sais-je?", 4th ed, 1997). Works since No. 19-20 to review work
made in the journal 'The Banquet'.

The inauguration of the Musée du Quai Branly, just as the opening
second France-Oceania summit, was a highlight of the cultural
quinquennium of Jacques Chirac. He will no doubt what would have been the Centre
Beaubourg Georges Pompidou, Musée d'Orsay for Valery Giscard
d'Estaing and Francois Mitterand National Library for. Expresses this
place that has done since its opening subject to real and sustained enthusiasm
People and challenges no less significant part of the community
scientific and museum? As written immediately Berenice
Geoffroy-Schneiter, this is "no accident that our west in search of
Spirituality landmarks and turns to these desperate travelers
the invisible. " And remember that the geographical naming Musée du Quai
Branly reflects only timidly function. Jean said Cuisenier
at the highest state level is difficult to identify new fields
a political culture will develop. Is it to showcase art
primitive art of the first peoples or the art of the distant, to say nothing of
Wild arts, as the title of the work of Claude Roy, published in 1998?
Hence the value of philosophical reflection of Francis Warin. From
an observation on the art of weaving, it reminds us that Plato used the
paradigm of weaving, which the name implies, is, in parallel (para) the
complex structures and weaving of political art to show us their
analogy and to make us see and think what precisely constitutes the
city. This consideration makes the search for genealogy Arts
first. Because in a Darwinian horizon, artifacts collected, when they have
not been considered as marks or as diabolical superstition
mere curiosities within Naturalia, appear as
fossil remnants of an archaic stage of humanity. The reversal of
this hierarchy derogatory or translation of the word romantic "primitive"
mark even though the term continues in France, faute de mieux, to
be used. Indeed, negro art hidden by the time that equated African art and
Oceanic art, has become pejorative, was rightly rejected. "Art First" is a
ambiguous phrase, only the prehistoric art worthy of the adjective. Yet
beyond the timeline, it could be attributed to what he shows excellence
that of Urkunst which was considered an expression of the substance of the
collective psyche. "Tribal Art", proposed by W. Fagg is an expression of
increasingly used. Italians speak their ethnic art, which refers
But a concept is unclear and the false idea of a group
the same origins whose art would reproduce the original schema. Tribal art is
confined to traditional art, retreats into an exclusively
heritage, which is vitrified perspective, from the outset, stillborn. However, the
ceilings in some rooms of the Musée du Quai Branly, the work of an artist
Australian Aborigine, testimony to the vibrancy of this art. The term "arts
primitive "was in vogue in the 1960s. William Rubin realized yet
in 1984 a major exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on the
theme of "Primitivism". These are the dealers and collectors Belgian
it seems that replaced by primitivism "first" term considered
as the most marketable. Hence, before these hesitations, the title Arts of Africa,
Americas and Oceania used by the authors of the dictionary. The authors
Discovery Arts Premiers mainly trace the long process of
recognition of primitive art as evidence of art on par with more
great achievements of civilizations that we are most familiar.
The fifteenth to eighteenth centuries, the Western gaze on home production is
reveals at once curious, amazed and away from prejudices. In the eighteenth century,
expeditions wanted more objective, but still exclude all light
aesthetics. The nineteenth century saw the advent of ethnographic museums, where
objects were deemed to be specimens, relics of ancient cultures.
The work of art had not yet acquired citizenship. Only at the beginning of
Twentieth century that the avant-garde artists were enthusiastic about the art negro.
However, research by Ernest Grosse (The Beginnings of Art, 1897) were
open the door and introduce, finally, a deep rupture in the perspective on
the exotic art. He thought it strange that the original population "to show
a great talent in sculpture. " If the primitives are producing work real
is due to a lifestyle based on observation of people and objects
around them. Hence the three basic ideas that emerged: the art has a
social function; productions of peoples without writing can not be
understood in the context of cultural forms as they are
appeared; the drive aesthetic expression that said Boas, the founder of
American Ethnology (Primitive Art, 1927), is shared by all
humanity. Franz Boas added ago when art control technique
to obtain a perfect shape, that it again gives a real image or
reality to a mental image.
While artists and surrealist art s'entichèrent negro, the great
avid collector of modern art Paul Guillaume (1893-1934) was the promoter
negro art in Europe and the United States. Founding figure of ethnology
German Leo Frobenius (1873-1938) spoke of "African civilization." The
missions multiplied Dakar (Djibouti), and exhibitions and
museums (Golden Gate, Museum of settlements). From the 1960s, what
is still called primitive art has conquered an audience of more and wider. Then
After many major museums like the Metropolitan
New York, the Louvre presented in 2001 at the Pavillon des Sessions, near
120 sculptures from Africa, Oceania and America. The dictionary presents
the wider panorama of the arts of the three main regions by
Perhaps the pride of the arts in America and Oceania, African art is
already largely covered.
After the success of the first volume of the first Arts on Africa,
Oceania and East Indies, Berenice Geoffroy-Schneiter delivers the second part of
his research on pre-Columbian civilizations, American Indian, Eskimo
and aborigines. Madness of pre-Columbian palace frescoes, ornaments
feathers of Amazonian Indians, Taino zemi, to communicate with the afterlife,
made up with cotton, shells, rhinoceros horns, the
mirrors, seeds, pulp, glass, bone, gold or resin developed by
this social class of the Greater Antilles which first met Christopher
Columbus on the path of New World peoples shamanic masks
Eskimos, all these achievements show the technical virtuosity and the degree of
spirituality of these crops. As for the only Mesoamerica, it is rich
cultures: Chichimecs, Mixtec, Olmecs, Toltecs, Aztecs,
not to mention the Mayan pyramids, which in themselves represent a
cosmogony. Wonderful art that astonished Albrecht Durer, before scare
Charles Baudelaire. Remember that this journey of rage and blood? These idols
Mezcala, surprisingly simple, close to the art of the Cyclades. The
pyramids of Teotihuacan, the golden age of the Maya, with their rich writing of
divination, the Atlantean warriors and expression of the military art of the Toltecs
Chac Mool with, who impressed as Henry Moore, who did that
reproduce in his series of Recycling Women. Or art twilight
Aztec art of the Andes and Central America, with its mirage of El
Dorado. How not to be dazzled by the golden statues rejected, the
northern Peru, the Venus of Valdivia, born 3500 years before our era on the
Equatorial Pacific coast, draft tender femininity? Who has not had
the opportunity to enjoy the lively and colorful microcosm that describe with flavor
vases Bichrome Moche ceramics? Representations of hunting,
fishing, war, even furious coitus, speak a realistic language,
relatively rare in pre-Columbian art. With the exception of Egypt, few
Civilization seems to have translated all the fascination of the golden crop
who flourished in the Andes of North-West between 1000 and 1500. Under the
pen of the conquistadors, was born, betraying their total misunderstanding,
myth of El Dorado, the Indian gold.
While anthropologists have reconstructed the extraordinary symbolism attached
the precious metal, yellow, "sweat and tears of the sun," the arts of Oceania are
subject to the last part of Cambridge. Some examples of weaving,
tapa, beaten bark on the widely used today as a gift
offerings, evidence of compliance, few examples of pottery called Lapita, the
original place of New Caledonia, posts fetishes (Tiki), shields, spears,
masks ... Knowing that the art department is the Pacific provided
the Musée du Quai Branly, it is not surprising that the discovery opens its
pages with some of these objects are most representative: Sepik hooks in
wood, bone and skull of New Guinea, media offerings of the Gambier Islands
Polynesia ...