Julie Göllner holds an MSc in History of Art, Curating, Criticism from the University of Edinburgh as well as a BA in communication and cultural management from Zeppelin University. After graduating in 2017, she worked at the intersection of art communications and technology in London at HENI Digital and Artsy UK. Before she started her PhD at Zeppelin University in 2020, she organised cultural events for the federal state of Berlin. Her research interests include power structures and social dynamics in the art field, politics of display, the ethics of contemporary art practice as well as the role of museums in democratic societies.
This dissertation project undertakes an analysis of current dynamics in the art world that seem to disrupt the traditional power structure along with its prevalent modus operandi. It examines the institutional and structural changes that result from the art’s growing focus on ethical and moral principles. The impetus was provided by various social movements that campaigned against systematic oppression. Despite being driven by different leitmotifs, these movements share an increased sensitivity to social power structures that seems to be characteristic of a change in consciousness in society as a whole. Against this backdrop, political topics and socio-critical issues have gained momentum in art production, exhibition-making as well as setting the tone in contemporary art discourse. This paradigm shift on the level of discourse is no longer only part of a social or ethical turn, but points to a development of moralisation, which is discussed under the term "cancel culture". This thesis examines to what extent the moralisation of the contemporary art discourse influences these structural and institutional changes in the operating system of art. It sheds light on the role that art’s social figures and public institutions play in this dynamic.