Art Meets Capitalism: In Praise of Promising Potentialities?

Denis Hänzi (2020)

In: Glauser A., Holder P., Mazzurana T., Moeschler O., Rolle V., Schultheis F. (eds) The Sociology of Arts and Markets. New Developments and Persistent Patterns. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, pp. 387-410.

Excerpt. “According to Boltanski and Chiapello (2007), this shift—in terms of the rise of a “new spirit of capitalism”—is largely due to the fact that in the course of the increasing destabilisation of Fordism in the 1970s, capitalism has absorbed what they call the “artistic critique” of the 1960s by assimilating its programmatic claims for individual autonomy and self-fulfilment as a new systematic resource for value production. In compliance with this explanatory approach, a good many sociological efforts at the beginning of the twenty-first century drew analytically on the “figure of the artist” (Lordon 2014, 123) in order to illuminate the dynamics of contemporary capitalism. […] Secondly, scholars have also underlined the accuracy with which the artist, taken as a model, motivationally fits the “new spirit of capitalism” (Boltanski and Chiapello 2007). Under this aspect, the artist’s exemplariness consists in a genuinely individualistic personal driving force—in terms of a strong inner calling—that is directly usable as a production factor in the current economy (Honneth 2002).” (p. 388/391)

Link to the chapter