Cultural Globalization Between Myth and Reality: The Case of the Contemporary Visual Arts

Larissa Buchholz, Ulf Wuggenig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Soon after the concept of globalisation ascended to one of the “most fashionable buzzwords of contemporary political and academic debate” (Scheuerman 2002), it began to fuel discursive effects in the art field as well.[1] During the last decade the world of “international contemporary art” increasingly began to understand itself as part of a “global” space, with globally recruited artists, globally acting curators, and Biennales spread around the four corners of the world (cf. Griffin 2003, Bydler 2004, Sassen 2004, Wu 2005). With the documenta 11 in Kassel in 2002 at the latest, globalisation became a popular, widely used term among art critics and curators for depicting recent tendencies in the artistic field. We want to scrutinize whether this talk not only reflects a new discursive trend, but also corresponds to changes in the social organization of the field of art. To what extent has the globalisation of the art field actually progressed? What structural consequences do the presumed changes bring about? We will begin with a short introduction into the general social scientific discourse on globalisation and then outline aspects of the discussion on cultural globalisation in order to develop a theoretical framework. Afterwards, we will trace how the art field itself has discussed the issue of art and globalisation before we will critically dissect some of its strong claims empirically.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArtefact 4 (`Glocalogue')
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


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