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The Pan-African NationOil and the Spectacle of Culture in Nigeria$
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Andrew Apter

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226023540

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226023564.001.0001

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War Canoes and Their Magic

War Canoes and Their Magic

(p.121) Chapter Four War Canoes and Their Magic
The Pan-African Nation
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the FESTAC Regatta with Gell's reflections on the value of art not only because they throw the main themes—canoes, magic, money, and exchange—into bold relief, but also because they foreground the problem of value itself. Briefly stated, Gell uses Simmel to establish a basic contrast between magic as ideal technology versus money as ideal exchange. Whereas the technology of enchantment produces objects of value without expenditure, exchange assumes a form of commensurability and equivalence established by money. Gell's aesthetic argument is quite subtle and complex, developing a set of homologies or “scheme transfers” between the technical processes and social relations of art production, but these “precede” exchange in any economic sense.

Keywords:   scheme transfers, FESTAC, Gell, expenditure, money, exchange, war canoes

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