9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN02 Sociology of the Arts

2009-09-03 15:30:00 2009-09-03 17:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 15:30 - 17:00 Artistic Policy Building II, C6.07

Creative Infrastructure and Art Market: Practices of Support to the Arts and their Consequences. The Case of Romania

This paper provides a systematic analysis of the creative infrastructure and the art market in Romania, focusing on the interactions between practices of support to the arts and artistic practices. The notion of "creative infrastructure" refers to the extent to which a society supports artistic creativity by public and private policies and practices that aid the development of artists and the maintenance, enhancement, and possibility of artistic endeavours (Galligan and Cherbo). Successive governments in post-communist Romania assumed the support to the arts as almost exclusively (public) task. Policymaking and implementation disregarded actors from private sector (business and non-profit organisations) and the art market. State intervention in the artistic field was also justified in "ethical" terms of avoiding the market or correcting its inequities.

The main goal of this paper is to further the understanding of roles played by practices - public or private - of support to the arts and the art market in shaping artistic practices and developing new forms of artistic expression. A secondary objective is to evaluate the impact of practices of support on the dynamics of cultural participation and consumption. The research is based on personal observation and data analysis, as well as on secondary analysis of surveys on cultural market (Concept Foundation 2000), on mediators such as contemporary art galleries and on cultural consumption (Centre for Research on Culture 2005-2008). The approach is comparative, the case of Romania being considered in global context: the changing regime of contemporary art (R. Moulin) that is the increasing interdependency between the cultural field (homologation, hierarchy) and the art market (transactions), and the globalization of the art market. The relevance of the research goes thus beyond this particular case. Its findings will be used to renovate the conceptual framework of arts policy, by reframing cultural action from defensive policies to creativity policies aiming at the sustainability of environments for artistic creativity, including their survival in the art market and safeguarding diversity.