The Plight of the Artist


Furthermore, the commodification and commercialization of a market for cultural purposes during the nineteenth century (and the concomitant decline of aristocratic, state, or institutional patronage) forced cultural producers into a market form of competition that was bound to reinforce processes of ‘creative destruction’ within the aesthetic field itself. This mirrored and in some instances surged ahead of anything going on in the political-economic sphere.  Each and every artist sought to change the bases of aesthetic judgement.  It also depended on the formation of a distinctive class of ‘cultural consumers.’Artists, for all their predilection for anti-establishment and anti-bourgeois rhetoric, spent much more energy struggling with each other and against their own traditions in order to sell their products than they did engaging in real political action.

Harvey, David, The Condition of Postmodernity, Blackwell, (2000), Page 22

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