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The Animal Substitute

An Ethnological Perspective on the Origin of Image-Making and Art

Art isn’t always art. Or, at least, it doesn’t always start out that way: many older objects that we now consider, and display, as art began life as simple utilitarian items. Today, however, most art is created as such and doesn’t need to undergo any functional change to take on the role--yet even those objects may have roots in older, utilitarian techniques and practices. In The Animal Substitute, Efting Dijkstra reveals those lingering links between art and function by focusing on North American duck decoys and other functional animal substitutes. Taking art research in a fascinating new direction, the book combines art history, ethnology, sociology, and more to offer a fascinating new perspective on art and its creation.

304 pages | 73 halftones | 6 3/10 x 9 2/5 | © 2010


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Utilitarian Substitution and the Roots of Image-Making
3. The Substituted Duck: A Diachronic Approach
4. Toward a Goose Substitute: A Synchronic Approach
5. The Drifting Decoy: From Utilitarian Substitute to Art
6. Afterword: The Riddle of Paleolithic ‘Art’

Acknowledgments
Fieldwork List
Fieldwork Transcript: An Example
Photo Credits
References
Index

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