James Trainor

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Shai Azoulay: The Gift

Shai Azoulay: The Gift

Inga Gallery of Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv. 2011.

If we explore certain aboriginal societies, we find that the person of consequence—the man or woman who is deemed worthy of adulation, respect and emulation—is not the one who accumulates the most goods but the one who disperses them. Gift economies are marked by circulation and connectivity: goods have value only insofar as they are treated as gifts, and gifts can remain gifts only if they are continually given away. This results in a kind of engine of community cohesion, in which objects create social, psychological, emotional and spiritual bonds as they pass from hand to hand.

Lewis Hyde, The Gift (1983)

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