Pardon the clickbait title. Of course, as most people do, I appreciate the artworld, but in my capacity as an archaeologist I tend to avoid using the term ‘art’ when discussing ancient material remains.
The Art market for the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas is going through a crisis due to a loss of confidence on the part of collectors. The origin of the buyer’s uncertainty is well known: worries about the provenance and acquisition history of the pieces, concerns about having to repatriate artworks, awareness of the risk of buying a fake, etc. Despite this difficult climate, some auction houses continue to break sales records in those fields. However, these records are almost only concentrated on well-defined types of objects, originating from few different cultures, well-known to collectors.
Once out of the temple, does Sanskrit, the language of the gods resonate in the same way in museums halls, in auction houses and in the pages of scientific works? Globalization and popularization of knowledge challenge the use of Sanskrit, which oscillates between the pledge of erudition and the selling point, between the obstacle to understanding and the panels adornment.