HARTUNG-BERGMAN FOUNDATION SEMINAR
THE ARTIST EXCEPTED
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On Artists, or How to Justify Inequality
Editorial Director: Laurence Bertrand Dorléac
Editorial Staff: Carole Gautier and Cécile Pichon-Bonin
Translator: David Ames Curtis
In her last book, De la visibilité. Excellence et singularité en régime médiatique, Nathalie Heinach studied “visibility capital,” which grants a form of superiority to those who possess it. This phenomenon, which was constantly growing in scope throughout the twentieth century, offered her the opportunity to reexamine the notion of the “total social fact,” in Marcel’s Mauss’s sense of the term. Here, she inquires into how the inequality in the status of the artist is to be justified as she flushes out the contradiction inherent to our democratic regime, which oscillates between recognition of excellence and the extolling of equality, aristocratic pride and democratic envy.