We are seeking papers for a panel at SECAC. The Southeastern College Arts Conference (SECAC) will hold its 67th annual meeting Nov. 9-12, 2011, in Savannah, Georgia.
Please submit abstract by April 19th, 2011.
The Big Money Game of Contemporary Art
This panel investigates branded artists such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami, whose work is made in factories, largely by assistants. These artists also oversee the production of a range of commercial merchandise that includes clothing, keychains, toys, fashion accessories, jewelry and household objects. Works by these artists simulate authenticity, but like most luxury objects, they are neither unique nor scarce. Indeed, the market success of this work reveals that the realm of high culture has been thoroughly interpenetrated by commodification. Though these artists have amassed a great deal of media attention, the focus tends to be on the price, rather than the content, of their work. The high price confers status, and the content or art historical significance is deemed irrelevant. In contrast, this panel will historicize and excavate the meaning(s) of this work, and will consider whether antagonistic messages encoded in the work of Murakami and Hirst, for example, signal a crisis in dominant ideology. We will also examine the cultural dynamics that give rise to absurd market values, how contemporary art is used in the service of political and economic projects, and what this reveals about the sphere of culture in late capitalist economies.
Susan Falls and Capri Rosenberg, SCAD; firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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