Date: 30. April 2020, full day
Location: Universität für Angewandte Kunst Wien: Auditorium Vordere Zollamtstraße 7
Concept & Moderation: Michael Wimmer
Information & Registration: info(a)uni-ak.ac.at
Nikolaus Harnoncourt once said that it is not only the performers on stage but also the people in the audience who are “musicians”. It is only when the performers and the viewers work together as equals that what we would call art is fulfilled.
In 2018, the Republic of Austria celebrated its centenary and with it the transition from a feudal to a democratic constitution. The debate on the “democratization of art” that was recently fueled by Stefan Heidenreich and Markus Resch in Die Zeit indicates that the art establishment has only very limitedly anticipated this political transformation process to date. Many art institutions, especially those that are publicly funded, continue to elude the needs of their audiences for participation and co-determination, thereby endangering the hard-won autonomy of art. In addition, there is the growing influence of a market logic, which Wolfgang Ullrich recently put in a nutshell with his study on “Winning Art”, as well as populist attributions that continue to brand the art establishment as a place of social distinction for crisis winners.
Hanno Rauterberg recently spoke of a “vicious circle” that had to be broken, in order to take away the elitist aura of art and nevertheless not leave art to the mercy of quota pressure.
The first concern of this year’s European conference on current cultural policy issues is to raise awareness of the growing importance of the general public for cultural policy. This is reflected in a changed relationship between art supply and demand as well as – anticipating these changes – new strategic developments within the art business. In this policy field, too, it is important to meet, with some delay, a democratic political demand that also grants those not directly producing art active rights of participation and co-determination, which the art business must meet if it does not want to lose its social relevance.
In the course of a re-evaluation of the audience aspect for a democratically legitimized cultural policy, not only should fundamental art-theoretical considerations be made, but these should also be brought into dialogue with practical forms of the art business that seek a new relationship with their audience. This also includes, however, dealing with megatrends such as economization, digitalization and mediatization, internationalization, the resurgence of ethnic conflicts and related concepts of identity, migration and flight movements, as well as the intensification of social inequality and the associated consequences for cultural behavior and thus for the development of new audience strategies.
Linking theory and practice
Based on European initiatives, the event refers to the current, empirically comprehensible data on audience development and presents initiatives that support art institutions in developing their communicative competencies with the audience and therefore increase the relevance of art for an interested or interested audience.
Results of European projects on audience development as well as selected studies from a primarily national perspective serve this purpose. In addition, there are individual artist positions that have set out in search of a new relationship with their audiences.
The event will focus on the presentation and discussion of selected practical examples. The question of the relationship between artists and audiences in a democratic age will be explored. This includes a number of methods, each of which has its own conceptual basis and follows quite different intentions. They range from cultural pedagogy, creative, aesthetic, cultural or artistic education, art and cultural mediation to new methods of audience development.
Guidelines for an audience-oriented cultural policy between market and state
In a concluding plenary session with leading representatives of the art world from various artistic fields, new possibilities for the further conceptual development of the cultural sector in cooperation with the public will be explored. The aim is to develop a new set of cultural policy measures that are aware of their role in a society that is as democratic as it is market-based and that can help to resolve the contradiction between autonomous artistic demands and the expectations of the public.
Image: © die Angewandte – Facebook