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Publication . Article . 2022

Estetisk ingenjörskonst och konstens ekologisering : Richard Bergh, Människan och nutiden och Öyvind Fahlström

Erik Erlanson; Peter Henning;
Open Access
Published: 03 Apr 2022
Publisher: Umeå universitet, Institutionen för kultur- och medievetenskaper
Country: Sweden

The following article seeks to analyze the biopolitical interconnections between cultural policy and the arts during the Swedish 1900s. Of special relevance is the concept of “aesthetic engineering”, denoting the attempt to vitalise and activate the population through manipulation of the sensuous environment. In this context, the significance of the individual artwork can only be understood in relation to the larger media ecology of which it forms a part. The study analyzes three heterogenous examples of aesthetic engineering, juxtaposing a Social-Democratic report on cultural policy, Människan och nutiden (1952), with the essays of painter and museum director Richard Bergh (1858–1919), and the utopian visions of neo-avant-gardist Öyvind Fahlström (1928–1976). The different examples all provide theories on the purported necessity of art's “ecologization”: i.e. of the integration of the artwork in the environment. By recognising this shared ground, we suggest that a novel context for the understanding of art and welfare politics in twentieth-century Sweden can be established.


Art History, Konstvetenskap, General Literature Studies, Litteraturvetenskap, History, Visual Arts and Performing Arts

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