Just spent the good part of the last 3 hours going through and digitizing the notes I took on Alfred Gell’s Art and Agency (An Anthropological Theory).
The anthropology of art is here reformulated as the anthropology of a category of action: Gell shows how art objects embody complex intentionalities and mediate social agency.”
As an artist constantly trying to define myself as such, I’m fascinated by what Gell proposes. Often, in the midst of a painting or a piece of work, I’m not sure whether or not I’m guiding the brush or if the paint is guiding me. I am (or am I?) the agent of action in this equation. Come to think of it, do I really have the final word on which pieces get to “live” and which ones don’t?