University Of Tasmania
139887-Mona and the political-cultural economy of independent galleries.pdf (357.63 kB)
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Mona and the political-cultural economy of independent galleries

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posted on 2023-05-24, 07:19 authored by Adrian FranklinAdrian Franklin
Contemporary independent galleries are among the most rampant, cashed up, bon viveurs of the global art scene, and, as the projects mostly of the super-rich, they surf the countervailing flows 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-anticipated crash in contemporary art prices and/or the demise of neoliberalism. Yet it’s difficult to see them as separable from the art world they operate in, and easy to see them as increasingly significant to it. Thus, it is possible to situate them in the relational and historical narrative of the extended exhibitionary complex (Smith, 2012) where they figure as present day manifestations of private collectors who have always been a mainstay of arts and museum collections, and whose collecting cultures and collections have recently been reconfigured around different art, different art markets and different relationships with artists, gallerists, curators and a proliferation of exhibitionary platforms – including public art museums everywhere. The key word here then is extension rather than tension between public and private. A question that interests me is how different private collectors are as exhibitors and whether 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 by Walter Benjamin [2007] in his essay on book collecting), can be or has been, marshalled to create new experiences of art in museums, and if so what value this might have. So, this is my basic approach here. My answer will be that mostly they have not, but there are signs that they can, or they could in collaboration with others.


Publication title

The Australian Art Field Practices, Policies, Institutions


T Bennett, D Stevenson, F Myers and T Winikoff






School of Social Sciences



Place of publication

United Kingdom



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Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies

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