184 pp., 12.5 x 21 cm, 45 colour ills. Brochure with dust jacket. English.
ISBN: 978-3-89790-521-4 | Ready for shipping
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ARNOLDSCHE Art Publishers
-Documents on Contemporary Crafts No. 5
Crafts and art in dialogue
What differentiates contemporary crafts from art and design?
One answer to this could be that crafts – or the socalled applied arts – mostly focus on a particular material, for example glass, metal, ceramic or textile. The craftsperson specialises in their material, and their products are the result of thorough exploration.
Indeed, contemporary crafts have long cast off many historical dictates. And a new interest in handicrafts and materiality within the art scene has led to crafts increasingly fi nding a place in an extended fi eld of the arts. The art discourse of today is nevertheless informed by a dualistic viewpoint: there is a strict distinction between artwork and object –‘high’ and ‘low’ – and the concept of the artwork’s autonomy is at the very core of this idealistic notion.
Material Perceptions raises the question of whether crafts, in its singularity, can be comprehended from this point of view. The signifi cance of materiality, which plays such a central role in this context, is examined in diverse essays from various perspectives. The conclusion: because the artisanal objects neither depict nor refl ect reality but rather appear in their material unity as ‘tangible’ and simultaneously ‘conceptual’, they afford unique experiences and perceptions of our material reality and our physical awareness of the world.
Thus the book does not rail against the integration of crafts in contemporary art discourse, rather it seeks to reveal how contemporary crafts enrich it with a new perspective.
Instead of an idealistic aesthetic, it takes a material one as its point of departure – and in doing so provides an important and autonomous contribution within the burgeoning
field of art.
An insightful book that approaches the key issue of the complex relationship of crafts and art on an aesthetic level.
Material Perceptions is the fifth volume in the series 'Documents on Contemporary Crafts'. The series is published by Norwegian Crafts and offers critical reflection on contemporary crafts, seeking to stimulate critical discourse within the field of crafts.