‘ The first of these assumptions is that which involves labeling forms with cultural or national identifications. What seem to us today to be valid or even accurate means for the classification of visual evidence from the past, and for the appreciation of that evidence within ou own, present-day minds, may not have been the appropriate crriterion at the time when the monuments through which this evidence appears were created. If we consider a motif or a type of design as first of all colorful, geometric or vegetal, rather than Islamic or Gothic or Byzantine, an appreciation of forms emerges which may well correspond more closely to what actually happened than the national and ethnic constructs we have posited‘.
Géraldine Dallaire and François Colbert:
“…the shift that occurred from ‘protecting the culture of developing countries in the context of the economic development of wealthy countries’ to support for high culture through cultural policies.
This goal of democratizing culture was subsequently adopted by the majority of industrialized countries. Underlying this commitment to democratization is the idea that a culture of high “quality,” or the so-called “high arts,” should be shared by all. This “legitimate” culture stands in contrast to cultural products intended for mass consumption (popular art).
When the strategy of democratization of high culture failed to produce the expected results, stakeholders in the cultural sector sought to find other vocations for art.
‘It is hypocritical, detrimental and useless to evoke democratization to justify support for arts institutions and professions’ Can we, today, replace the term ‘democratization’ with the term ‘sustainable development’? The question is an interesting one and worth debating. Is it not dangerous to ‘cry wolf’ too often? By seizing every opportunity and evoking every argument in the book to demand more support from governments, doesn’t the cultural community risk undermining its credibility? Should we perhaps consider a return to the notion of ‘art for art’s sake’? Should we not insist on the intrinsic benefits of art rather than instrumentalizing it by embracing all causes? And, especially, should we not feel a certain malaise at placing the protection of the cultures of poor countries on the same level as support for professional artistic activities in wealthy countries? For only a rich country can really afford to support a diversity of artistic activities carried out by citizens devoted to art on a full-time basis. Should we not simply redefine the notion of ‘cultural democratization’ to encompass all forms of art, whether high or popular?”
Boris Groys argues that:
“the discourse on the impossibility of the new in art has become especially widespread and influential. Its most interesting characteristic is a certain feeling of happiness, of positive excitement about this alleged end of the new – a certain inner satisfaction that this discourse obviously produces in the contemporary cultural milieu.
(He) argues that by collecting, organizing and presenting the past in a structured manner, the process of valorisation implies the continuous production of the profane and thus the possibility of the new. The new is, thus, a limit concept of the archive, its immanent other”.