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Contemporary Art as a Consumer Good in the Art Market of Modern Times

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 04-07-2012
Тематический раздел:
The article analyzes the art market of recent times aiming to reveal the specificity of contemporary art consumption. The today’s art market is characterized by
globalization and virtualization of its activities, changes in the traditional functions of art institutions and the hypertrophied role of professional intermediaries, the
absence of a clear pricing policy and an a priori impossibility of controlling the price level. Its symptomatic line is a passionate consumption of contemporary art. The price level for products in this category is comparable to a price level for the timetested art of old masters, consumption of which, along with collecting, has an
investment character. As for new collectors consuming “the freshest” art production, they are guided by different goals. Buying of actual art, according to G. Bataille’s methodology, can be understood as an ostentatious expenditure — demonstrative destruction of wealth in order to confirm, hold or increase buyer’s social status. On the other hand, the consumption of contemporary art is not an isolated act of purchase. Such type of consumption becomes a lifestyle. New elites increase their symbolical capital by means of consumption of contemporary art. The consumption of actual art is culturally and socially differentiating, it is a marker, allowing them to create their “caste”.
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