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The art world’s response to the challenge of inequality

Kolbe, Kristina, Upton-Hansen, Chris, Savage, Mike ORCID: 0000-0003-4563-9564, Lacey, Nicola and Cant, Sarah (2020) The art world’s response to the challenge of inequality. Working Paper (40). International Inequalities Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This paper considers the challenges which rising economic inequality poses to the art world with a special focus on museums and galleries in the UK. Based on interviews with artists, curators and managers of leading art institutions in London, we discuss how issues of economic inequality are reflected in their thinking about cultural work and how these relate to questions of spatial power, post-colonial sensibilities and diversity issues. We show how increasing economic inequality brings about deep-seated, systematic and sustained challenges which extend well beyond public funding cuts associated with austerity politics to a wider re-positioning of the arts away from its location in a distinctive public sphere and towards elite private privilege. Against this backdrop, we put forward the term ‘the artistic politics of regionalism’ and suggest that the most promising approaches to addressing contemporary inequalities lie in institutions’ reconsideration of spatial dynamics which can link concerns with decolonisation and representation to a recognition of how economic inequality takes a highly spatialised form.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D3 - Distribution > D31 - Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2020 17:24
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:18

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