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Different types of creativity on the two sides of shutters

Bloch, Maurice (2014) Different types of creativity on the two sides of shutters. Pragmatics and Cognition, 22 (1). pp. 109-123. ISSN 0929-0907

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Identification Number: 10.1075/pc.22.1.06blo


A charitable sale housed in the Paris showrooms of Christie’s displayed works created by European artists. These were painted over or on the backs of specially commissioned carved house shutters typical of the Zafimaniry region of Madagascar. The present article considers and contrasts the two types of creativity juxtaposed at the Christie’s sale. The European work stresses the artist’s individual originality and social isolation from the everyday lives of those who come to admire or buy the works. The process of the art’s production ends abruptly at the moment of exhibition and sale. In contrast, the work of the Malagasy carvers is contained within a general concern of continuing the life and growth of their families. Their art intends to harden and beautify the houses that represent the continuation of the families’ life. There is no disconnection between the carver and those who will see and use the shutters similar to that of the European artists, and there is no clear beginning or end to the process of creation similar to the point of exhibition and sale. The Malagasy carvers do not want to be different from their predecessors; they want to continue the work and lives of those they are in contact with.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 John Benjamins
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2016 12:30
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:13

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