Power struggles over the authentic and the inalienable in contemporary disenchanted neoliberal economies, overfilled with copies, fakes, reproductions and profane objects, have become ever more pronounced. The panel aims at a critical discussion of these power struggles, within broader time-frame.
Power struggles over the authentic and the inalienable in contemporary disenchanted neoliberal economies, overfilled with copies, fakes, reproductions and profane objects, have become ever more pronounced and ever more invested with political interests and moral sentiments. Art and cultural artistic expressions find themselves often at the heart of these struggles, as they have been traditionally imagined as the very realms where sacred, inalienable and authentic objects could be produced and authenticated, be it through rituals, certifications or expert knowledge. This discussion panel seeks to deal with questions surrounding the power struggles over and desire for authenticity both in the contemporary global art market and society at large. How have we for instance gone from perceiving cultural appropriation as a positive social good towards lobbying the UN to ban it and make it illegal, and thus to effectively legally reinforce cultural boundaries? Who has the power and authority to draw these boundaries and hierarchies? What charm do all those formerly inalienable objects from around the world, sacred heirlooms and art pieces, that ended up on the art market only to be authenticated and sold precisely for their value as authentic possess? Why is authenticity, now more than ever, in such a high demand and how do we engage with the reactionary political desires that, too, yearn for authenticity? The panel will be structured as a round-table and is organized collectively by Tereza Kuldova, Øivind Fuglerud, Leon Wainwright, Maruška Svašek, Birgit Meyer and Rina Arya.