Reflecting on The Gift Economy

The gift system was pioneered by anthropologist Marcher Mauss and Bronislaw Malinowski in the mid-1920s. Mauss taught us that social life involves a ‘gift,’ that is indisputable as a combination of labour and service that cannot be reduced to the calculation of contracts. Sociologist, Lewis Hyde draws from Mauss’ philosophy for his book The Gift: Creativity and the Artists in the Modern World. In this book, Hyde (2007) points out two types of economies: A commodity (or exchange) economy where status is accorded to those who have the most, and, a gift economy, where status is accorded to those who give the most to others. Hyde argues that a work of art is a gift, rather than a commodity and those artists are laboring in the service of his or her gifts. Hyde contends that Continue reading Reflecting on The Gift Economy

Valentine’s Day: Love and Passion

Valentine’s Day is the day to celebrate love, but what is love? In an article published in the Guardian in December 2012, five experts, in the fields of science, psychotherapy, literature, religion and philosophy, present their own theories on love.  In addition to these five disciplines, I would like to add one more definition from

an arts perspective. For an artist, love is passion—the strong emotion, excitement and desire that artists feels towards their craft and art making.

Thus, Love is… Continue reading Valentine’s Day: Love and Passion

Luminescence: The Silver of Peru, Showing at the University of Toronto Art Centre

On January 15th, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the lecture and opening reception for Luminescence: The Silver of Peru. This dazzling exhibition traces the long history of silverwork and the human fascination with the divine and luminescent qualities of silver. Luminescence featured an exhibition of more than 140 artifacts assembled form a variety of sources—private and museum collections, drawn from four periods of  history:  Pre-Columbian, colonial, republican and contemporary—including national treasures seldom seen internationally.

Continue reading Luminescence: The Silver of Peru, Showing at the University of Toronto Art Centre