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Title: Neither capitalist nor wage-labourer : an economic examination of the exceptionalism of artistic production vis-à-vis the capitalist mode of production
Author: Beech, Dave
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 3248
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2017
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This PhD by Publication is a contribution to art and art theory through the book Art and Value in the context of the practice of the Freee art collective. This thesis situates Art and Value within contemporary art practices and debates. Art and Value addresses itself directly to misrecognitions of the relationship between art and capitalism within the humanities and social sciences. The conviction that art was a commercial activity had penetrated the discourses of contemporary art in the UK, Western Europe and North America since the 1960s and therefore constituted, in part, the milieu in and against which Freee has operated since 2004. The historical study of the emergence of the theory of art’s economic exceptionalism in classical political economy gives an alternative historical framework in which to situate the discussion of art’s relationship to capitalism. The rationale for my economic analysis of art – comprising separate critiques of the economics of art in classical, neoclassical, welfare and Marxist economics – is to reset the coordinates for thinking politically about art’s relationship to capitalism. Art and Value does not claim to cover every aspect of art’s encounter with capitalism, which would require sociological, semiotic, psychoanalytic, geographical, philosophical and historical inquiries, at the very least, but establishes the economic groundwork for the interdisciplinary study of art’s relationship to capitalism. Economic analysis provides this ground; not because economics is the master discipline of the social sciences, but because the question of art’s relationship to capitalism must be understood, first and foremost, by understanding what capitalism is and how the production of art has or has not been incorporated into the capitalist mode of production.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business studies not elsewhere classified ; Fine Art