The Artworld as an Institution and Visual Culture
Topics to Consider:
- The role of the visual arts in visual culture.
- The Artworld as institution: the social-professional network
and social class membership.
- Codes for reading and receiving visual art: art containers and
exhibition spaces. Where can art appear to be seen as art?
- The artworld and the art market, and the "reverse-economics"
of art as a "denial economy" (Bourdieu).
- Examples of contemporary artists navigating and negotiating
Encoding of Art-Space: the Role of the "Art Container"
- Brian O'Doherty, Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of
the Gallery Space (Berkeley, CA: Univ. of California Press,
version] [A kind of "meta-semiotics" of gallery
and museum spaces as interpretive spaces for the cultural reception
Considering the effects of "exhibition space" and "the
The Artworld Institution and Economic Differentiation: where does
the cultural category of "art" (and non-art) come from
study: The P.S.1 "Greater New York" Show (Opened
March 13, 2005)
| The P.S.1
artworld event has it all: the authority and validation of
the museum institution (P.S.1 is the contemporary branch of
the Museum of Modern Art in NY), curatorial intervention and
artworld politics, money from external donors and corporations,
art dealers and galleries promoting the artists and benefiting
from the publicity, trends for young artists rising through
the professional ranks in the artworld, and a synthesis of
current visual culture filtered through the institution.
Sidebar: Is "Taste" Socially Determined? The Most
Wanted and Least Wanted Paintings Project
Consider how artists have become nodes in a visual network connecting
"high" art and mass visual culture.
Major Visual Art Movements Over the Past
"Usual Suspects" Examples
Reductive geometry and color to Abstract Expressionism
|Minimalism and Post-Minimalism
|Installation, Video, Performance
June Paik, Marina
|Postmodern (Includes: Pluralist, Feminist, Hybrid,
Examples of artists who have shaped or defined contemporary
visual culture (choose two for closer study):
Museum visit: Hirshhorn Museum
View and take notes on the Hirshhorn's "Gyroscope" installation
of works from the permanent collection on various floors of the
Discuss examples of artists' works above and in the Hirshhorn collection
in the context of institutional and semiotic approaches to the role
of art in visual culture.