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Journal Articles Angewandte Sozialforschung Year : 2006

Die Kritik der Künstler am Management


The contribution of Eve Chiapello summarizes results of her empirical study "Artistes vs. Managers" (Paris 1998). Furthermore, several conclusions regarding the role of art in society and its autonomy are drawn, elucidating the normative position of one of the authors of "Le nouvel esprit du capitalisme" (Paris, 1999). Eve Chiapello argues, that the traditionally difficult relations between art and management have improved over the last two decades. The basic distinction between social critique and artistic critique is introduced, a distinction, which underpins her much discussed book published in collaboration with Luc Boltanski "The New Spirit of Capitalism" (engl. version, London, 2005). Whereas social critique, which emerged with modem capitalism, addressed misery, exploitation and inequality, artistic critique in the 19 century emphasized creativity and criticised materialism, repression, bourgeois banality and risks deriving from the dominance of utilitarian thinking, industry and technology. Management, which came up later with the blossoming of industrial capitalism, inherited this artistic critique, since each generation of artists and intellectuals repeats this critic of materialist forces of modern society anew. Conflicts and tensions for artists typically revolved around questions of negative autonomy (freedom from restrictions), including monetary aspects. Though such tensions are still widespread they did not hinder the functioning of artistic production, nor did they hamper the growing acceptance of management in artistic circles. The borders between the worlds of art and the economic world opened during the last two decades, logics as well as persons migrated between the two spheres. In these decades also the strength of artistic critique was weakened considerably. There are several reasons for this development, some being more superficial, some rooting in deeper changes of the cultural as well as the economic field: In France the state and cultural policy in the 1980s displayed a so far unknown appreciation of avant-garde art. At the same time it emphasized the industrialisation and the management of culture. In the economic field new forms of organization emerged. They reveal astonishing similarities with projects of avant-garde art. Autonomy and creativity of employees are given room to move. Instead of attacking avant-garde art, the management asks, how innovation might be supported best, also with the help of contemporary art. Part of economic life approached experiences, which were reserved for the artistic field, where they were invented originally. On the other hand the number of artists as well as the size of the public of contemporary art grew considerably. Contemporary art was accepted on a broader social basis, immediately without waiting for the "test of time". With new forms of artistic production, which are more complex regarding number of persons involved, or administrative and management tasks, the necessity of using and accepting management practices or dividing the labour with management expanded. At the same the authority of artists decreased, since the idealist and romantic view of the artist as a genius and an inspired creator was attacked by philosophy and sociology. Not to forget that the targets of critique changed themselves. The was replaced by a new faction of the dominant class, A new faction of the dominant class, the "Bourgeois Bohèmes" described by David Brooks, replaced the rich bourgeois with limited cultural capital.
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hal-00678022 , version 1 (11-03-2012)


  • HAL Id : hal-00678022 , version 1


Eve Chiapello. Die Kritik der Künstler am Management. Angewandte Sozialforschung, 2006, vol. 24, n° 1/2, pp. 19-24. ⟨hal-00678022⟩


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