Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN02_04b_H: Art Markets - What Else?
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
9:00am - 10:30am

Session Chair: Paula Guerra, University of Porto
Location: HA.2.8
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: A, Level: 2.

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The art market upside down: valuation practices and the function of auctions in the emerging Chinese market

Svetlana Kharchenkova

Leiden University, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, The

For new markets to function, institutions and judgment devices to resolve value uncertainty need to be created. This paper analyzes valuation in an emerging cultural market: China’s contemporary art market. Based on extensive fieldwork in Beijing, it explores why new art and unestablished artists appear at auction in China. It argues that auctions act as a judgment device because the Chinese art market is new and lacks trusted valorizing structures and experienced buyers. This paper shows how value is constructed and judged in an emerging market and contributes to sociology of art, market sociology and sociology of valuation. It highlights that in new markets value uncertainty may be resolved differently than in established markets. Market differences across countries may stem from a stage of market development. In new markets market actors can become judgement devices, and the role of judgment devices may be temporary and contingent on the institutional environment.

Contemporary Art Market Scene in Turkey of the 21st Century: Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair Example

Hülya Biçer Olgun

Hacettepe University, Turkey

In this study, 21st Century Turkey contemporary art market is examined through Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair. The aim of this study is to examine the reproduction of power in the arts through the actors who regulate and support one of the most important activities of the contemporary art market in Turkey and to reveal the relationship between these actors. In this study, the effects of the actors who regulating and supporting the Contemporary Istanbul Fair on the reproduction of the arts field through economic and social capital are discussed with Bourdieu’s perspective. In addition, the network of relationships between actors or objects (art objects) is explored, taking advantage of Bruno Latour's approach.

The center of the contemporary art market in Turkey is the Istanbul art market. The various actors that make up Contemporary Istanbul are among the important determinants of the art field with their economic, social, cultural and symbolic capital. Thus, these actors draw the picture of the contemporary art scene in Turkey.

In this study, it is revealed who is the actors (persons or institutions) who organize Contemporary Istanbul, who support this activity, and the network of relations between these actors is revealed. Thus, the process of regenerating the powers of the arts that are encountered as determinants of the Turkish art market scene is being revealed. This analysis is based on Pierre Bourdieu's field theory (art field and capitals) and Bruno Latour's Actor-Network Theory. The data of this qualitative study were collected based on content analysis and observation.

Key Words: Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Market, Field Theory, Art Field, Actor-Network Theory

The Art Gift

Victoria D. Alexander

Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom

Marcel Mauss’s conception of “the gift” is useful in understanding certain kinds of exchanges. The Maussian gift is embedded in a series of obligations for both giver and receiver, it comes “with strings attached” and is both interested and disinterested. The Maussian gift stands in contrast to commercial exchanges, which are clearly interested and also is distinguished from our contemporary understanding of gifts as utterly disinterested, “pure”, and diametrically opposed to commercial exchange. This paper is concerned with his idea of the Maussian gift and how a Maussian perspective can help us understand the “art gift”. Focusing on the visual arts, I consider how artists, patrons, and owners become permanently connected to physical works of art, for instance, through a work’s provenance, and how patently commercial aspects of the visual arts world are cloaked in scholarly disinterest (Velthuis, 2007). I also examine how patronage and philanthropy in the art world, are always more or less self-interested and competitive but also characterized by disinterest and even the urge to do good. An intertwining of obligation, and interest/disinterest epitomize the art gift.

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