Giddens is one of the authors who started circulating
the term of globalization in the early 90s. As one of the organic intellectuals
of the "Third Way", he contributed to promoting
the "politics of globalization" (Bourdieu),
which in turn led to the development of a transnational
social movement, which today, for the most diverse motives,
meets globalization under neoliberal auspices with resistance.
For some, globalization outside the realm of special
fields (such as the financial markets) still appears
to be a myth, or at least a less impressive phenomenon
than in the years from 1890 to 1914, the age of the
gold standard regime, also called the "Belle Époche
of Globalization". Others, who believe in the reality
of globalization, hardly see anything in it other than
an accelerated dissemination of US American or western
is defined in very different ways today, whereby either
material, cultural, temporal or spatial aspects are
emphasized. Elements of these kinds of definitions include
"trade or the effects of trade over distance",
"space-time compression", "global integration"
and "accelerated interdependence", the "new
order of interregional power relations", and sometimes
also a growing awareness of the "global condition".
Michael Hardt and Toni Negri tend toward a "globalist"
position in the sense of the meta-theory of globalization,
when they presume an "inexorable and irreversible
globalization of economic and cultural processes of
Whereas Giddens sees nothing other than "cultural
behind the different institutional dimensions of globalization
- capitalist international economics, the system of
nation-states, the military world order, and the international
division of labor - Hardt and Negri assign the regulation
of the global exchange to a new sovereign, global power
- Empire. According to one of their central arguments,
"[i]n contrast to imperialism, Empire establishes
no territorial center of power and does not rely on
fixed boundaries or barriers."
Tying into postmodern theories, Empire is instead understood
as a decentral and deterritorialized apparatus of domination.
and Negri do not devote particular attention to the
cultural sphere or the discourse of "cultural globalization".
This discourse emerged against the background of the
insight that individual spheres of society (e.g. economy,
politics, ecology, culture, art) are characterized by
specific patterns of development, which cannot simply
be transferred to other spheres. Malcolm Waters, for
example, maintains that the cultural field, and high
culture in particular, more clearly bears features of
globalization than the spheres of economy and politics,
the background of the dissemination of these and similar
assumptions in conjunction with wide-ranging theses
of deterritorialization and decentralization in the
contemporary literature of cultural studies and art
theory, I would like to focus on developments in the
field of art. The position is often taken that this
cultural sub-field is marked to a particularly high
degree by globalization. Some people today go so far
as to maintain that "there is hardly another sphere
of culture, in which the interlocking of north and south,
of east and west is as intensive, as it is in fine arts."
Art and Cultural Imperialism
the proponents of the globalization thesis, there is
widespread agreement that the beginnings of this process
are to be located in the 19th century or
even earlier. As the term "globalization"
was not yet available for these developments, "internationalization"
or "transnationalization" was often mentioned
in this context. In the 1970s, the British artist Rasheed
Araeen, for instance, presented his sharp criticism
of the art field' exclusions by still taking recourse
to the term "internationalism". Similarly
to the critics of the globalization thesis apostrophized
today as "skeptics" or "traditionalists",
at that time Araeen turned against what he regarded
as a myth, namely the "internationalism" attributed
to contemporary art. In his Manifesto presented in 1978
at the ICA London, he states:
myth of the internationalism of western art must now be
destroyed. (...) Western art expresses exclusively the
particularity of the west (...). It is merely
transatlantic art. It reflects only the culture of
Europe and North America. The current `internationalism'
of western art is not more than a function of the
political economic power of the west, which foists its
values on other people. (...) The word international
should mean more than just a few western countries
Araeen contended was nothing other than a version of the
theory of cultural imperialism. In its most common
variant, this presumes that global culture is actually a
particular culture, namely a western, capitalist or US
American culture. More general versions of
the theory do not simply identify imperialism with its
western variations and formulate more complex
assumptions about mechanisms and effects. In Galtung's
center-periphery theory, for instance, imperialism is
considered a highly differentiated type of domination
relationship, for which "bridgeheads" - of the
"center of the center" in the "center of
the periphery" - are especially important.
is characteristic for imperialism in the sense of Galtung's
"structural theory" is a form of domination
that leads to a splitting of collectives and to certain
relationships, patterns and structures of interaction.
Several parts of the system are set in relationships
characterized by a harmony of interests to one another,
others in relationships characterized by a disharmony
of interests. One of the things that a
harmony of interests means is that an elite forms in
the periphery, which is closely connected to the elite
of the center. Cultural penetration is therefore an
important mechanism. Part of the elite from the periphery
is coopted and rewarded or develops needs that can only
be satisfied by the center. The coopted local elite
take on lifestyles, culture and ideologies of the center.
This process of intellectual penetration takes places
through attending universities in the center and the
import of cultural artifacts, knowledge and theory.
The bridgehead thesis is found, in part, in Araeen's
manifesto, when he refers to the dominant role of western
values in the urban milieus of the Third World and stresses
the divided loyalties of the indigenous elite, who show
an interest in the "mishmash of western techniques
and local images", which he calls "neocolonial
Transformation of the Art Field
question arises as to whether and to what extent this
kind of domination model is still able to adequately
describe reality. At the time of Araeen's intervention
in the art field, Galtung exemplified it at the macro
level with the relation between the USA or the Soviet
Union respectively and the countries within their spheres
of influence. According to Galtung's theory, following
the end of the Cold War, the partly bipolar, partly
tripolar constellation (with the "Third World")
of the 70s turned into a seven-poled world, whose regions
"are dominated to a certain extent by the hegemon
of hegemons, the United States of America."
In addition, Galtung postulates that under the conditions
of forced globalization, the elite of the periphery
tend to lose significance as bridgeheads for the center.
In contrast to Hardt and Negri and other postmodern
the concept of imperialism as well as the center-periphery
model is maintained despite this transformation.
have taken place in recent decades in the art world
as well, although none are as comparably profound as
in the world system. Araeen, for instance, in a more
recent text, notes an opening of the art field with
regard to "other" artists since the mid-80s,
which he links to the change of context from Eurocentric
modernism to postmodernism.
The "young, postcolonial artists of African or
Asian origins" are no longer segregated from their
"white/European contemporaries": "Both
of them display and circulate within the same space
and the same art market, recognized and legitimated
by the same institutions."
These and similar observations indicating a transformation
in the art field are found more and more frequently
in recent times in texts by critics and curators.
an essay that convinced a number of cultural studies
Marc Scheps, for instance, curator of the large-scale
exhibition "Global Art" in Cologne in 2000,
posits an accelerated globalization of art in the past
two decades. In 1980 art entered the "global present",
following a long history of "intercultural dialog"
in the 20th century, a phase that others,
such as Adrian Piper, interpret in a less euphemizing
way as a history of the appropriation of non-western
cultures through "Euroethnic art".
Since 1989, according to Scheps, art has been conducting
a "global dialog", which has become possible
through newer visual language, in other words media
and praxis forms such as video or computer, but also
installation art and performance. Scheps ties the globalization
of the art field particularly to an increased mobility
of artists, to exhibitions of non-western art in the
west, and the spread of art biennales and art institutions
in non-western countries, which are symmetrically integrated
in worldwide network connections.
Hanru, who also refers to the proliferation of art biennales
outside Europe and North America since the 1980s, cites
as an example of the globalization of art institutions
the expansion plans of the New Yorker Guggenheim Museum.
Georg Schöllhammer notes a "multitude of exhibitions
with African contemporary art, for example" in
European art institutions and speaks of the "recently
extolled artists from Africa, Latin America and Asia".
Yilmaz Dziewior underscores a greater participation
of non-western artists in the 90s at large mainstream
exhibitions in the art field, such as the Venice Biennale
and Documenta in Kassel, a trend that was even more
conspicuous at the Documenta 11 in 2002.
in the frame of reference of the globalization theory,
these texts by curators and critics indicate a spatial
expansion of social relationships among actors in the
art field, an increase in the density of interactions,
which is based, not least of all, on new electronic
communication networks, the growing cultural interpenetration
in the art field in the form of a heightened inclusion
and mobility of actors and products, as well as the
globalization process in the area of infrastructure.
the background of these changes, some already seem to
see the dawn of a global era liberated from old structures,
which would make thinking in categories of center-periphery
Other assessments of this transformation range from
ambivalent to critical. Schöllhammer, for instance,
emphasizes that although exhibitions and trade transports
make art scenes visible that were previously not exposed
in the west, he maintains that they also contribute
to overshadowing the relations of inclusion and exclusion
in the art world.
Taking the example of the "arrival of identity
politics and multiculturalism in the art world",
Martha Rosler laments a fashionable inclusion of marginal
groups and comes to the conclusion that "these
marginal shifts (...) do not change the `white' power
And Araeen perceives a continuity of apartheid, despite
the opening of the system, because the inclusion of
postcolonial artists is linked with their stigmatization,
as their works must still show "identity cards
with African or Asian characters".
The Perseverance of the Center
and Pain are among the proponents of the globalization
theory that primarily focuses on processes of the extension,
intensification and acceleration of the interdependence
and integration of social life. A distinction should
be made between process-oriented approaches and theories
that understand globalization as more of an ideal type
state of a global order that can also be used to measure
the degree and limitations of processes of globalization.
on data on economic parameters of the world economy
and an ideal type measure of globalization, Hirst and
Thompson, for instance, arrived at their assessment
of the myth of a globalization of the economy.
The process-oriented approach to globalization tends
to exaggerate the extent and range of globalization,
because it compares the present with the (recent) past
and dispenses with taking ideal type models of globalization
into account. The question of the relevance and the
effects of the changes in the art field that have taken
place since the 80s, which point in the direction of
globalization, is therefore treated here according to
the logic of the process-oriented approach in conjunction
with taking ideal type models into account.
first obvious empirical indicators would be the data
from the ranking list of artists from the economics
magazine Capital, published every year (with few exceptions)
since 1970. This ranking list of the top 100 artists
in the art field claims to cover the symbolic capital
of artists according to their visibility in international
exhibitions. At the same time, in this way the center
of the art field - artists highly recognized by the
art establishment - is separated from the periphery
of the broad mass of producers.Despite
some problems, the procedure for determining artists'
symbolic capital appears to be sufficiently valid and
reliable to allow well-founded conclusions about processes
of globalization that do not take place only at the
level of symbolic politics or in the more secular areas
of the art field.
artists' country of origin has always been listed in
the Capital Art Compass since the beginning, so that
it is possible to pursue questions of inclusion and
exclusion according to territorial criteria. An ideal
type concept of globalization implies a high degree
of entropy in the social-spatial recruitment of actors
that assume important positions in the art field. In
a globalized world ultimately intended to create a "world
territorial limitations and spatial fixations should
not be overly important, none of the populations of
the larger world regions should clearly dominate the
others in this respect.
determine the extent of social-spatial concentrations
and their changes over time, it is sufficient to make
use of a simple model of space. It therefore seems reasonable
to use a world map by Galtung, in which the north and
the south intersect with the east and the west so that
"four corners of the world" can be distinguished.
The "Northwest" comprises North America and
Europe, in keeping with the cartography it is based
on, the "Northeast" comprises the former Soviet
Union, Eastern Europe, Turkey, the former Soviet Republics
with a mostly Muslim population, Pakistan and Iran.
The "Southwest" includes Latin America, the
Caribbean, West Asia, the Arab world, Africa, southern
Asia and India, the "Southeast" South East
Asia, East Asia, the Pacific islands, China and Japan.
20% of the world's population lives in the north, 80%
in the south.
a process-oriented, diachronous interpretation, the
globalization thesis implies an increase in entropy with
regard to the origins of artists from the four world
regions. A possible ideal type measure would be the
irrelevance of territorial origins, in other words an
equal recruitment of successful artist from the four
corners of the world, contrary to their origins from
"only a few western countries", as Araeen
formulated it in the 70s. The proportion of artists
placed among the top 100 of the world, who are not from
the "northwestern" countries, could thus serve
as an indicator for the globalization of the art field.
displays the proportion of the top 100 artists according
to the ranking list from the Northeast, the Southwest
and the Southeast of the world individually and in sum
for the period 1970-2001, which was particularly dynamic
on a world scale
It also includes a trend line for the "rest of
the world" that does not belong to the Northwest,
based on the "moving average". It may be seen
as the central statement that the summed proportion
of all the artists not from the Northwest even in the
years 2000 and 2001, the peak of the curve, does not
amount to more than 10%. This only surpasses the proportions
already achieved in the 1970s by 2%. In comparison,
the proportion of female artists rose from 4% in 1970
to 22% in 2000.
Even in the "global age" (Albrow) at the beginning
of the 21st century, the proportions of artists from
three of the four corners of the world only amount to
2 - 4%, a blatant picture of exclusion that includes
Eastern Europe, Latin America, Australia, and Asia and
Africa with their "post-colonial" artists
that Araeen particularly calls attention to. Statistically,
however, this does indicate a marginal inclusion process,
at least in terms of the dynamic in the center of the
striking counterposition to the globalization theory
is the thesis of "trilateral regionalization".
This is based on the findings that the "capitalist
triad" of the USA, the EU and Japan comprises only
15% of the world population, but was able to concentrate
between two-thirds and three-quarters of all economic
activities worldwide to itself.
Chart 2 illustrates the high degree,
to which the center of the art field is recruited from
two of these three economically powerful triad regions,
specifically the USA and the EU.
A tally across all the triad regions results in proportions
ranging from 95% to 82% for the relevant period. These
figures clearly surpass the triad's share in worldwide
economic activities. In analogy to economic globalization
(outside the financial markets), this would thus be
a foundation for speaking of the myth of the globalization
of the art field.
are worthy of attention, too. Despite the economic rise
of Japan in the 70s and 80s, the global visibility of
artists from this country did not increase. It appears
no less interesting that the change in the position
of US art did not directly follow the change of the
position of the USA in the world system. Thus the ascent
to "hegemon of hegemons" in the late 70s could
not halt the onset of the relative loss of significance
of US art. The proportion of artists from the USA in
the center of the art field reached its peak in 1978
with nearly 50%, but it has decreased since then to
one third. Despite a slight loss in significance in
the second half of the 90s, on the other hand, EU art
remains in an especially strong position with shares
center of the field still remains firmly in the hands
of the Northwest, dominated by the US-EU dyad. In recent
years there have been signs that the extremely high
concentration in this region could be slightly diminishing
and that there is a trend toward globalization that
seems to be more striking now than in the late 60s and
early 70s. It should be taken into consideration, however,
that the data presented overestimates the spatial inclusivity
of the art field in one respect: the majority of the
artists who do not come from the Northwest, nevertheless
live(d) and work(ed) in its art metropolises, primarily
New York, but also London, Paris, Cologne and Berlin.
A precondition for recognition in the field is still
the real integration in these territorially delimitable
centers of artistic production and communication.
globalization theories that emphasize the dislodgment
and extension of social relationships, and for postmodern
theories (including that of "Empire") that
maintain a comprehensive deterritorialization of social
relationships, strong spatial concentrations like those
indicated are "anomalies" that are difficult
to integrate. In some versions of the globalization
theory, spatial concentrations of power - such as in
the "global cities" - are simply reinterpreted
as indications of a growing globalization.
In the models that do away with center-periphery ideas
and emphasize deterritorialization, on the other hand,
there is a propensity to ignore evidence for spatially
delimited centers of power.
Center-periphery models recall the condensation and
spatial concentration of power, whether in financial
markets or in fields such as that of art. They lead
to other interpretations than the typical approaches
within the framework of globalization theories. Thus
the migrations of scientists and artists from the periphery
to the centers of the Northwest follow classical brain-drain
patterns from the perspective of center-periphery theory,
from which the center and the center of the periphery
profit more than the periphery of the periphery. Nor
does the proliferation of art biennales
and art institutions outside the countries of the Northwest
simply appear to be an indication of increasing globalization
to be celebrated. Instead, this raises questions such
as to the extent that this involves the establishment
of bridgeheads of the Northwest with the help of the
culturally penetrated indigenous elite, and to what
extent it involves the development of counter-power in countries, whose elite
tend to lose power due to globalization.
would like to thank Sophia Prinz (Lüneburg) for preparing
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1: Three corners of the world. The visibility of their
art 1970 - 2001 (percentages of top 100 artists, secondary
analysis "Art Compass" Capital)
2: The visibility of the art of the triad 1970 - 2001
(percentages of top 100 artists, secondary analysis
"Art Compass" Capital)