Schnittstelle Vernissage : Die Besucher als Wegbereiter und Multiplikatoren zeitgenössischer Kunst
Sammanfattning: How does art become Art? What is it that actually happens when a work of art is presented, as such, at an opening and gets accepted as Art? Who arc the actors, the decision makers, how do they interact, how does the self-structuring, selfgenerating, intricate system work that governs the interface between art and non-art? What is the importance and influence of the artists, the gallery owners, the art writers in journals and newspapers, the mass media, the visitors to the openings?Research in this area has so far mostly concerned art preferences, or the function of art as a social distinction marker. But the process through which the decision is made whether a particular object is accepted as art, - or rejected as such - has received much less attention. Subject of this thesis is the transition, in the interface between private and public, through the interaction of a loosely knit, fluctuating, self-structuring network of many different actors, national and international. The emphasis is on the starting point of the process, i.e. the opening, more precisely such openings where new, hitherto unknown art and/orartists are presented. At such openings, the visitors have no way of finding out beforehand what they are supposed to think, and have to fonn opinions on their own. This makes the situation very different from that in a museum, or in a gallery presenting already established art.The main empirical material of the thesis consists of a number of extensive interviews with influential professionals and connoisseurs ln the art scene in Stockholm and- as a comparison- Vienna. The results of a questionnaire, answered by visitors to openings, are also included. A picture emerges where the opening is seen as a focal point for the ongoing discourse on new art, where professionals, but also interested and informed amateurs, meet and interact.There is a quite extensive consensus in judgements of the new art, though such judgements are almost never a topic of the actual opening conversations. No such consensus exists, however, when work is presented that tries to break the prevailing ideas about art, and the openings and their audience consequently do not have a decisive role regarding the acceptance or rejection of such, in a real sense, innovative art. Thus, a main function of openings is to funnel and focus the ongoing discourse and discussion by bringing together many different agents and actors in the art world, in a situation that gives a good - and unobtrusive - opportunity for a constant cross-checking within a much wider network, a network that ultimately decides if a new piece of art is to be accepted- or not.
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