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Mona and the political-cultural economy of independent galleries


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Franklin, A ORCID: 0000-0002-3207-0498 2020 , 'Mona and the political-cultural economy of independent galleries', in T Bennett and D Stevenson and F Myers and T Winikoff (eds.), The Australian Art Field Practices, Policies, Institutions , Routledge, United Kingdom, pp. 53-66.

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Contemporary independent galleries are among the most rampant, cashed up, bon viveurs ofthe global art scene, and, as the projects mostly of the super-rich, they surf the countervailingflows of cash from the same neoliberal policy levers that cause public arts funding to dry up.There’s no sense of crisis among them as a sector unless we factor in the much-anticipatedcrash in contemporary art prices and/or the demise of neoliberalism. Yet it’s difficult to seethem as separable from the art world they operate in, and easy to see them as increasinglysignificant to it. Thus, it is possible to situate them in the relational and historical narrative ofthe extended exhibitionary complex (Smith, 2012) where they figure as present daymanifestations of private collectors who have always been a mainstay of arts and museumcollections, and whose collecting cultures and collections have recently been reconfiguredaround different art, different art markets and different relationships with artists, gallerists,curators and a proliferation of exhibitionary platforms – including public art museumseverywhere. The key word here then is extension rather than tension between public andprivate. A question that interests me is how different private collectors are as exhibitors andwhether their relative freedom from museological norms, public scrutiny and political control(in those places where it’s possible), combined with their emotional passion (as noted byWalter Benjamin [2007] in his essay on book collecting), can be or has been, marshalled tocreate new experiences of art in museums, and if so what value this might have. So, this ismy basic approach here. My answer will be that mostly they have not, but there are signs thatthey can, or they could in collaboration with others.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Franklin, A
Keywords: Mona, independent galleries, museum, Tasmania
Publisher: Routledge
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