Being Object. Masterpieces from the collections of the museum of world Culture Frankfurt am Main

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Masterpieces from the collections of the Museum of World Cultures Frankfurt am Main. Edited by Achim Sibeth. Photographs by Stephan Beckers. Published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name from October 31, 2009 to October 31, 2010. Cultures in their uniqueness and diversity are part of the wealth of this world - just like their material products. This is reflected in the ethnographic collections from Africa, America, Southeast Asia, Oceania and East Asia at the Museum of World Cultures in Frankfurt am Main. From a total of around 67,000 objects in the collection, 130 works are presented with outstanding photographs. From the abundance of mostly similar objects, the authors have selected particularly unusual 'ethnographica', everyday objects or ritual objects from indigenous societies, based on individual / subjective criteria. The objects in this volume are not only interpreted in an ethnological context, but are also described and interpreted as works of art. In order to draw the western observer's attention to the artistic qualities of Ethnographica, they are specifically presented here as the results of indigenous aesthetics and indigenous art. For a better understanding of each work of art, the authors ask in which environment a work was created and which ideas about color, shape, symmetry, balance etc. were shaped by the artists. It is the common goal to present the extraordinary, the elaborated, the other, the perfect or not perfect, the harmonic or the unsettling. The meaning of an object, however, is not unchangeably determined by its original origin and purpose. With the change of viewers and owners, the ideas and thoughts associated with the object also change. Therefore, the effect of a work of art can only be understood by examining the aesthetic ideas and the prior knowledge of its respective viewer. This is where the different aesthetic concepts of indigenous and European societies meet and lead to reactions that ideally mediate between the two perspectives. The volume clarifies a central concern of the authors with regard to the presentation of non-European art: For them, the much discussed question "art or context" cannot be compared with an apodictic "