Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.815931
Title: The instrumentalization of contemporary art in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 2013-2018
Author: Webber, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 9359 0846
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Abstract:
Following the end of the Bosnian War in 1995, a then unprecedented level of international aid was deployed in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). A portion of this was devoted to the sponsorship and support of contemporary art. This thesis investigates the reasons for this, whether it was effective, and whether it had any further effects on the ‘art system’ of BiH. I propose a number of reasons why contemporary art was used as an instrument in the country, drawn from the historical discourse on the uses to which ‘culture’ may be put in effecting societal change, and suggest that contemporary art possesses a number of characteristics that make it a particularly useful tool in both developing the public sphere and promoting the discussion of particular themes. I then present three ‘biographies’ of artworks that were produced and displayed in BiH between 2013 and 2018, all of which display examples of instrumentalization, and which are based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted over the same period. I argue that though such programs have been effective in strengthening civil society in the country, they have also had a number of detrimental effects on the art system of it. Specifically, whilst funding contemporary art is able to produce critical reflection on political and social issues, an overuse of this tool, or too inflexible an application of it, may result in a distortion of the art system, and ultimately destroy the very characteristics that make contemporary art valuable.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.815931  DOI: Not available
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