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J. Harwood

Uruguayan conceptual artist and teacher, of German birth. Of Jewish ancestry, he fled with his family to Uruguay in 1939. He studied at the University of Uruguay between 1953–57 and 1959–62 before a Guggenheim fellowship took him to New York in 1961 to study printmaking. Although he settled in the USA, he retained his Uruguayan citizenship. From the 1970s, Uruguay and Latin America in general inspired a series of conceptual installations that addressed such issues as language, identity, freedom, repression and the role of art. Politics is a dominant element in Camnitzer’s work, expressed in ethical and artistic debate rather than in rhetoric. For Camnitzer, the task of the artist was to be aware of and express the problems that surround him, an attitude that challenged a perceived lack of meaning prevalent in much contemporary work. His questioning of traditional values applied not only to the theme of his work, but to its material form: employing objects of little intrinsic value, he rejected traditional notions of art as beautiful and of commercial worth. Through the use of texts, images and objects, such as those employed in ...

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Noémie Goldman and Kim Oosterlinck

Term for the return of lost or looted cultural objects to their country of origin, former owners, or their heirs. The loss of the object may happen in a variety of contexts (armed conflicts, war, colonialism, imperialism, or genocide), and the nature of the looted cultural objects may also vary, ranging from artworks, such as paintings and sculptures, to human remains, books, manuscripts, and religious artefacts. An essential part of the process of restitution is the seemingly unavoidable conflict around the transfer of the objects in question from the current to the former owners. Ownership disputes of this nature raise legal, ethical, and diplomatic issues. The heightened tensions in the process arise because the looting of cultural objects challenges, if not breaks down, relationships between peoples, territories, cultures, and heritages....