MUS04
The production of beauty, goodness, and ethical cleanness. liminal and illegal interface in museums, companies, and institutions

Convenors:
Silvia Forni (Royal Ontario Museum)
Discussant:
Prof. Alan Smart (University of Calgary)
Location:
University Place 4.213
Start time:
6 August, 2013 at 11:00
Session slots:
1

Short abstract:

This panel focuses on structural and interdependent relationship between the opacity of practices and the transparency of the publicly held policy discourse of museums, companies, and institutions claiming ethical and/or aesthetic intrinsic values.

Long abstract:

This panel seeks to analyze the interdependent relationship between the opacity of practices and the transparency of the publicly held policy discourse of museums, companies, and institutions. Actors in charge construct officially confirmed codes of conduct rooted in a pact of trust with customers, one that assumes respect of a tacit agreement on the legitimacy of their aesthetic or/and ethical frames of judgement. Multiple interfaces of opaque relationships develop, in spite of - or thanks to - the loud public discourse on ethics and transparency. Taking a theoretical starting point, this panel focuses on situations claiming ethical and/or aesthetic intrinsic values. 'Beauty' and 'goodness' of a given final product (objects, practices, individuals or categories) may thus appear as directly proportional to the degree of opacity of the production stages. Very useful insights can be gleaned from analysing the processes that lead to the creation of ethical and aesthetic standards for the circulation of art objects/merchandise. Papers on interfaces between museums and the art market, relationships between official and clandestine trade chains (gold, precious stones, food, second-hand and counterfeited items, etc.), and institutional production of illegality are most welcome.