That’s Showbiz! Artistic Form and Control

  • Liam Dee


More damning than the external aggression is the violence perpetrated by art/culture within its own borders: the rules of expression enforced through artworld bureaucracy and culture industry professionalization; and the impoverished products of supposed ‘transcendent beauty’ or even just ‘escapist fun’ that never produce epiphanic awe or sensual fulfilment. This disciplining and impoverishment of aesthetic experience is detailed in terms of its effects on both producers and consumers. Rather than being the ultimate concatenation of passion and reason, as envisioned by early Romantics, art/culture actually embodies tepid sensuality with credulous, instrumental rationality. The most telling form of this rationality is in the economic sphere. From the refined exclusivity of the high-art market to the show-business assembly line the commodified nature of art/culture is explored in detail to demonstrate how the very real tensions between economic rationality and aesthetic autonomy are not only overcome but are even used to legitimate the ‘spontaneous authenticity’ of art/culture and capitalism in general.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liam Dee
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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