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Culture Incorporated: Museums, Artists, and Corporate Sponsorships

Mark W. Rectanus
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 312
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttsbrx
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  • Book Info
    Culture Incorporated
    Book Description:

    In Culture Incorporated, Mark W. Rectanus calls for full disclosure of corporate involvement in cultural events and examines how corporations, art institutions, and foundations are reshaping the cultural terrain. In turn, he also shows how that ground is destabilized by artists subverting these same institutions to create a heightened awareness of critical alternatives.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9310-8
    Subjects: Marketing & Advertising

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Part I. Corporations and Culture:: The New Partnership
    • 1. Full Disclosure
      (pp. 3-21)

      “Imagine using the power of the arts to help feed the hungry.” This is the “modest proposal” made by Philip Morris in its campaign “Arts against Hunger: A Global Initiative …,” which offered discounted tickets to arts events in return for donations to food drives. This “global initiative” was undoubtedly only one component of yet another public-relations strategy designed to repair the corporation’s image after successive losses in tobacco litigation during the late 1990s.¹ More important, however, the advertisement focuses our attention on three key dimensions of corporate cultural politics: corporate sponsorship of cultural programs; social sponsorships and “corporate philanthropy”;...

    • 2. Corporate Cultural Politics: Corporate Identity and Culture
      (pp. 22-58)

      During the 1990s, mapping the terrain of cultural politics in the United States and Germany was not only a matter of registering the ongoing financial and identity crises (while developing survival strategies) but also a process of renegotiating the institutional roles of cultural producers, brokers, and audiences. Although politicians in Germany and the United States became even more aware of the potential power of culture as a two-edged sword of identity promotion (e.g., Pepsi’s “current-event marketing”) and representational politics (e.g., NEA controversies in the United States; Christo’sWrapped Reichstagin Germany), they continued to reduce funding for culture. Meanwhile, nonprofit...

  6. Part II. Culture, Artists, Events
    • 3. Redefining Culture, Absolutly
      (pp. 61-98)

      The rapid growth of sponsoring during the 1980s and 1990s was facilitated by an increasing awareness of new definitions and uses of culture within the contexts of everyday life. This process of redefining culture was in part driven by corporations themselves and mediated through advertising and promotion. Reconfigurations of everyday culture and cultural identities (e.g., gender, ethnicity, or nationality) were shaped by and circulated within media that produced, packaged, organized, and disseminated culture for expanding global markets (e.g., cable and satellite television). This chapter examines the articulation of corporate cultural politics within networks of cultural production, representation, and dissemination. I...

    • 4. Sponsoring Lifestyle: Travels with Annie Leibovitz
      (pp. 99-131)

      In the mid-1990s,Lifemagazine featured Annie Leibovitz as “probably the most successful photographer of her generation” and, as one writer suggested, “the Matthew Brady of the baby boomers” (Van Biema 1994, 49).¹ First atRolling Stoneand then later atVanity Fair, Leibovitz became known as the visual chronicler of the rock-and-roll sixties to the Reagan-Kohl-Thatcher eighties. Her photographs of celebrity icons, such as John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the Rolling Stones, or Ella Fitzgerald, became staple commodities of popular culture. Writing forTime, Richard Lacayo plots the trajectory of Leibovitz’s own career within the context of the transition...

    • 5. Sponsoring Events: Culture as Corporate Stage, from Woodstock to Ravestock and Reichstock
      (pp. 132-168)

      I would like to begin and end this discussion with two examples of events that werenotsponsored and that were represented in the media as expressions of resistance to or subversion of commodified culture: Woodstock and Christo and Jeanne-Claude’sWrapped Reichstag.¹ We might consider the temporal and spatial distance between Woodstock and theWrapped Reichstagnot simply as beginning or ending points but, rather, as markers that can assist us in an analysis of the event within postindustrial societies and postmodern culture. Both Woodstock and theWrapped Reichstagbecame reference points and signifiers of culture and politics, albeit in...

  7. Part III. Museums, Cyberspace, Audiences
    • 6. The Sponsored Museum; or, The Museum as Sponsor
      (pp. 171-212)

      The museum assumes a central position in the institutional mediation of culture. Andreas Huyssen has identified it as “a key paradigm of contemporary cultural activities” (1995, 14). As a result of its privileged status in cultural representation and mediation, it has become an attractive venue for sponsorships that reinforce the institutional convergence of museum, sponsor, and public cultural policy. We have also observed that the museum provides a staging area for events, for its own public-relations activities, and for corporate or public interests. Indeed, museum culture and event culture may be partially merging. Both are characterized by similar orientations to...

    • 7. Cybersponsoring
      (pp. 213-242)

      Cultural sponsorships assume a pivotal role in linking notions of corporate innovation with artistic creativity. At the same time, they provide legitimacy for new product technologies within cultural institutions and at events. As a function of corporate cultural politics, we have seen that technology is embedded in sponsorships relating to (1) product promotion and consumption (e.g., BMW’s “Art Cars”), (2) the organization and representation of social milieus and identities (e.g., product technologies at Ravestock), (3) the aesthetic mediation of events (e.g., visualization technologies used by the Bregenz Festival), (4) the representation of product histories as a filter for remembering and...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 243-266)
  9. Bibliography
    (pp. 267-278)
  10. Index
    (pp. 279-298)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 299-299)