The art exchange: an investigation of the economy of art

Bradley, Rachel (2011). The art exchange: an investigation of the economy of art. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.

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This essay explores the tensions outlined in the ‘market’ versus ‘gift’ debate to examine the economy of the Bourdieuan ‘field of art’ and the emergent dualist structure that has supposedly created two polarised ‘art-worlds’. Aspects of the Maussian gift and the dyadic thinking of Structuralist thought are used to examine structure and practice through economic theories, ‘art-world’ theories and artistic practice in ‘the real art-world’ in order to articulate the possibilities for ‘alternatives’. It is by focusing on developments in the ‘field of art’ since the 1960s to include the ‘dematerialisation of the art object’, ‘institutional critique’ and more recently the ‘do-it-yourself’ practices of so-called ‘artist-led culture’ that possibilities for ‘alternative enterprises’ can be located. These ‘alternatives’ lie within the Bourdieuan ‘field’ between the poles of cultural production on a continuum that reveals that the economy of art works with a mixed economy of heterodoxy between the ‘market’ and the ‘gift’, but also in the possibilities beyond it.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general


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