scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 864
Histories of the Tribal and the Modern In James Cliffords essay Histories of the Tribal and the Modern the appearance of tribal artifacts some grouped with modern art in several museum galleries comes under fire He very critically addresses such museums attempts to classify and reclassify primitive art and modern art into one by pointing out only vague similarities Clifford also highly objects to one museums the Museum of Modern Art use of the word affinity in a gallery held in 1984 entitled Primitivism in 20th Century Art The driving force behind this essay is that the status of tribal artifacts has been forced to shift and deviate from their original classification as remnants of an ancient past with anthropological definitions to those with more modern aesthetic definitions The Museum of Modern Art MOMA exasperated Clifford on numerous levels Their 1984 gallery Primitivism in 20th Century Art coupled so-called tribal artifacts with modern works in order to show a correlation between the two In particular the word affinity was used meaning a deeper or more natural relationship than mere resemblance or juxtaposition Clifford felt that MOMA incorrectly represented this word he said the exhibition was an intriguing but problematic exercise in formal coalescence An example of MOMAs misuse of the term was on the catalogues cover which featured an image of Picassos Girl Before a Mirror alongside an image of a Kwakiutl mask The two images are similar but mostly because of the camera angle of the mask and the cropped view of the painting therefore the museum created affinity Much of Cliffords denigration with the exhibition is that the artifacts collected were from a broad range of cultures and tribes which make the possibility of finding similar traits between them increase substantially They could have just as easily assembled a gallery on the striking differences between the cultures The affinity idea is according to Clifford wide-ranging and promiscuous as are allusions to
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA