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The allure of art and intellectual property: Artisans and industrial replicas in Mexican cultural economies

Cant, A. (2015) The allure of art and intellectual property: Artisans and industrial replicas in Mexican cultural economies. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 21 (4). pp. 820-837. ISSN 1359-0987

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/1467-9655.12289

Abstract/Summary

This article considers the establishment of a collective trademark by Mexican artisans which occurred in response to the discovery of industrial replicas of Oaxacan woodcarvings, and it suggests that artisans’ appeals to intellectual property cannot be readily understood as resulting from the economic or cultural threat that the replicas ostensibly pose. By bringing an analysis of aesthetics and the desirability of art into anthropological discussions of intellectual property, I argue that intellectual property is appealing to cultural producers in such contexts because it seems to offer an opportunity to stabilize the ambiguities concerning the relationship between authorship and the allure of artworks within competitive cultural markets. I conclude that in this case, claims to intellectual property reveal concerns that are more about local practices than about foreign production.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Archaeology
ID Code:86150
Publisher:Wiley

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