9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN02 Sociology of the Arts

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 The Production of Artistic Meanings Building II, C6.07

Production, Ready-made and Reproduction: Considering Transformation in Art Works and Art Worlds through the Researches of Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami

The paper proposes to analyse the increasingly relevant relation between the production of the art object, the art system and the market in defining the contemporary artwork. The methodological and conceptual tools include art history, art theory, sociology of arts and economics of art.
In the first part, the research will investigate the internal functioning of the artwork during the last four decades, as it has been defined by scholars such as Arthur C. Danto, Michael Fried, Rosalind Krauss, Alexander Alberro and Pamela M. Lee. It will also try to explain its interrelations with the social and economic changes (Jameson, 1991; Anderson, 1998) and with the subsequent transformations of the art worlds (Becker, 1982). This introductory section will describe the role and the perception of the contemporary work of art through the lens of the interrelations between art object, real object and auratic presence (also beyond the traditional function of status symbol), from the appearing of Andy Warhol?s Brillo Box (1964) and minimal to conceptual art and the formulation of the Pictures' aesthetics (Crimp, 1980).
The starting point of the second part is constituted by the last outcomes of Damien Hirst, the work "For the Love of God" (2007) and the Sotheby's auction "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever", held at London in September 15-16, 2008, which had a surprising and symbolic consonance with the deflagration of the current global crisis. The aim of this section is to demonstrate that this auction has not been a simple selling of artworks, but was an artwork itself.
The other authors, considered in the third and last part, will be Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami, with a particular attention to their strong linkage to other creative territories and cultural industries, like entertainment, design and fashion. Jeff Koons? "Hanging Heart" and Murakami's Louis Vuitton bag are good examples of art objects deeply connected with the real world through new modalities. Their strong physical presence becomes the spectacular equivalent of the more rarefied and enigmatic auratic quality.