The general trend of a culture industrialisation of life is mirrored in the art scene and business.

Interviewee: Roger Behrens

The general culture industrialisation of life is mirrored in the art scene and business: political art is not immune from this and also follows the logic of culture industrialisation. Apart from very few forays by the Russian avant-gardes and very marginal, scatted interventions, “political art” is an artistic practice – and not a critique of the relations of production which an artistic practice is dependent on. And that’s what’s hawked around by the museum establishment, and that’s what’s taught at the academies and colleges. But political art is then paradoxically unpolitical because it withdraws itself from – its own – political relations, i.e. the relations of production, omits these relations and indeed ultimately masks them over with aesthetics. And what’s more: the aesthetic itself now seems to be a genuine practice of art, as the genuine artistic production and thus as the specific field of the political in art, or as the politics of art. But that’s nothing more than an extension of the aestheticizing of politics through art: i.e. aesthetics as ideology, as necessarily false consciousness. Art is integrated into society, people are accustomed to art – Marcuse described this in his reports on Nazi society for the US Office of Strategic Services at the beginning of the 1940s; this corresponds to the critique of the culture industry which Adorno and Horkheimer were formulating at the same time in the Dialectic of Enlightenment.

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