The unethical aesthetic? Reflections on patronage, collaboration, and the Gurlitt case
(Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
Paper short abstract:
This paper explores the intersection of moral, legal, and aesthetic dilemmas in the Gurlitt case. It proposes 'ethico-aesthetic patronage' as a helpful analytical and ethnographic entry point for an analysis of art works as relational prism.
Paper long abstract:
'Gurlitt' has already become a scenario word for one of the most notorious cases of art history after World War II. It concerns, initially, the inherited collection of 1,406 art works stored for over thirty years in an apartment in the Munich district of Schwabing. The 'Gurlitt case' is a prism for a nexus of hitherto not unrelated but rarely ever so intertwined (art) historical, moral, political, and economic conundrums. Throughout this paper, I wish to attend to the interlocking of these aspects, casting an anthropological glance at the German cultural historical background to and implications of this case. Key to my discussion is the relation between aesthetic experience and ethical judgement.
Relational patrons: anthropological perspectives on transnational and intimate art collaborations