Stallabrass on the complicity of Art and the Market

“Art overruns the borders of local particularity, aiding the transformation and mixing of the world’s cultures and economies. The progressive and regressive aspects of this process are inextricably related. Local resistances are defeated and, in many places, conditions worsen as a result. Equally, art prepares the way for greater integration, and for the emergence of wider solidarities, so compellingly laid out in Hardt and Negri’s book Empire. Even so, any progressive aspect to the art world’s support of neoliberalism is the inverse of its own view of its actions, which are fixed on the particular, the personal, and the non-instrumental, and certainly not on the sacrifice of particularities on the altar of global homogenization. It is just this mismatch that constitutes art’s main contribution to what is, after all, far more effectively carried on by mass culture: an appeal to sections of the elite that stand above and aside from their local cultures, and a particularly effective ideological cloak for the actions of that audience in their complicity with global capital.”

— Julian Stallabrass “Contradictions” in Contemporary Art – A Very Short Introduction [2006]

Damien HirstFor the Love of God, The Diamond Skull” (2007) © Damien Hirst. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

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