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A Plea for Responsible Art: Politics, the Market, Creation

  • Antoine Hennion
Chapter
Part of the Sociology of the Arts book series (SOA)

Abstract

Contemporary art is highly controversial. Far from suffering from this state, it rather looks like its most normal mode of existence. Beside public debates, a wide range of critique has been made by social scientists on the basis of political, sociological, or economic analyses, even if the actual complexity of this object puts disciplines to the test. The purpose of this contribution is quite different. Starting from a typical case (Koon’s exhibition at the Château de Versailles), it rather draws on this extreme situation (in that to make any valuation of art is itself a disputed issue) to also underline the reverse difficulty of social sciences for formulating a convincing criticism. Reconsidering their passive inability or their active refusal to address questions of value, the author suggests in conclusion a pragmatist path in order to sustain both the artists’ claim for autonomy and the necessary public disputability of their work.

Keywords

Contemporary art critique politics economy autonomy public debate pragmatism 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Hennion
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS, PSL Research UniversityParisFrance

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