Point of View: Professionalization of Culture

A while back, the Kunstmuseum Thurgau (Art Museum of Thurgovia) in Switzerland had a symposium on “Professionalisierung der Kultur — Fluch oder Segen” (“Professionalization of Culture — Curse or Blessing”). The art world certainly does love its symposiums nowadays. They asked me to make a statement to be used on an invitation and poster and some other materials. I made a VERY short one, which, nonetheless, I think and hope you will find interesting.


Both a curse and a blessing, the professionalization of culture, especially art, is a double-edged sword. And one we all appear to be grasping by the blade. The benefit professionalism offers is a hoped for decrease of the immense quantities of thoughtless, artsy-fartsy, wanna-be-art now in existence, while potentially engendering an increase in profundity and intellectuality in the arts. The detriment can be a swollen, career-obsessed sophistry on the part of artists, curators and art “mediators,” mindlessly substituted notions of momentary job success for actual content, aspiration and accomplishment.

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