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This article articulates and evaluates a hypothesis about three systems of circulation in contemporary art: 1) Circulation of sensory values. 2) Circulation of symbolic values. 3) Circulation of social values. Therefore, the article starts with a conscious travesty of Claude Lévi-Strauss' famous definition of three forms of exchange in Clan Society: Exchange of commodities, exchange of women, and exchange of words. These forms are compared to the commoditised art market (exchange of sensory values), the official and/or ideological functions of art (exchange of symbolic values) and the notion of artists as producers of social change (exchange of social applications). The history of the last notion is traced back to Walter Benjamin's critique of "social realism" in photography and his speech "Der Autor als Produzent" (the author/artist as producer). Regarding current debates about politics and aesthetics, the contrasting views and programs of Nicolas Bourriaud and Jacques Rancière are compared. It is concluded that both theorists express varieties of ideological bias when describing activities which have very little in common except of being called "art".
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|MoE publication type||B1 Article in a scientific magazine|
- art criticism
- Art History
- 1 Finished