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|Ph. D. Thesis.
|Since 2010, the United Kingdom government’s austerity programme has led to the intensification and legitimation of marketised cultural policy, locally and nationally. Marketisation of policy in the UK is associated with the Conservative governments of the 1980s. The severity of the UK’s austerity programme (2010-) is unique compared to its European neighbours. Within the UK, England has led the “pioneering moves” (McGuigan, 2016, p. 17) of neoliberal austerity, despite the objections from the devolved governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The research’s focus is Arts Council England (ACE) and National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs). I interviewed the directors of South London Gallery, Nottingham Contemporary and Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and gathered data related to contemporary visual arts NPOs. The case-studies and broader data enable analyses of individual responses to marketisation, how this is reflective of the sector and the implications for the production and reception of art. I argue that marketisation creates a different existential register to previous phases of cultural policy. There are familiar issues of public funding and private sponsorship, but more complex dynamics related to decentralisation. As the arts sector adapts to Bourdieu’s ‘rules of the game’ it reinforces new demands of the game. This hypostatises socio-cultural hierarchies and solidifies market logics in public galleries. I contend that galleries should engage in Rancièrian politics to re-realise futures for the arts. Galleries may intensify critique of marketisation, agitate for reform of public and private sector institutions through radical democracy, co-production and co-ownership (Fisher & Gilbert, 2014, p. 292) I find that whilst much of the sector has an appetite for change away from marketisation, there is not a consensus on how to achieve this. The future of the arts is uncertain – practical and philosophical contradictions of arts funding are unresolved, particularly the balance of public and private influence in arts organisations.
|Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership
|Contemporary Art Galleries and Cultural Policy in the Age of Intensified Marketisation: The Case of England’s Public-Funded Arts Organisations
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|School of Arts and Cultures
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|Hopkin Thomas 071037145 etheses.pdf
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