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The Case of Controversy in Non-Controversial Art: How Controversy Frames Quiet Reception

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Abstract:

Understanding the reception of non-controversial art poses the challenge of available data. How does one analyze “non-events”? This paper aims to solve this problem while contributing to reception research by analyzing the public reception (newspaper reports) of non-controversial sculptures or what I term “quiet reception.” By determining both the structure (who writes articles, the types of articles in which the article surfaces) and the content of newspaper coverage a surprisingly rich data source emerges despite the fact that the three sculptures in the study received no negative press. Three cases of non-controversial sculptures were chosen in three different cities in order to ascertain if regional differences in reception exist as well as to access the range of ways in which reception is framed. Mark di Suvero’s “Ulalu” in Corpus Christi, Claes Oldenburg/Coosje van Bruggen’s “Dropped Bowl” in Miami, and Richard Serra’s “Reading Cones” in Chicago were chosen for the study. A total of twenty-six articles that included references to the sculptures were analyzed. The articles were obtained by conducting newspaper searches using a variety of key terms. I find that three reception themes emerge: legitimation of the artist and modern art, the (re)production of local cultural and urban identities, and the prevalence of references to art controversy. Due to the limitations of the paper I focus on presenting the counter-intuitive results regarding references to controversy in the framing of non-controversial art.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

art (135), controversi (127), sculptur (90), articl (70), public (68), recept (64), artist (58), report (35), refer (33), citi (32), miami (32), one (28), local (27), chicago (26), christi (24), corpus (24), inform (23), non (22), way (22), herald (22), provid (22),

Author's Keywords:

Sociology of Art, Controversy, Reception, Richard Serra, Claes Oldenburg, Coosje van Bruggen, Mark di Suvero
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Association:
Name: American Sociological Association
URL:
http://www.asanet.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p22913_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Babon, Kim. "The Case of Controversy in Non-Controversial Art: How Controversy Frames Quiet Reception" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Marriott Hotel, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA, Aug 12, 2005 <Not Available>. 2017-10-09 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p22913_index.html>

APA Citation:

Babon, K. M. , 2005-08-12 "The Case of Controversy in Non-Controversial Art: How Controversy Frames Quiet Reception" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Marriott Hotel, Loews Philadelphia Hotel, Philadelphia, PA Online <PDF>. 2017-10-09 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p22913_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Understanding the reception of non-controversial art poses the challenge of available data. How does one analyze “non-events”? This paper aims to solve this problem while contributing to reception research by analyzing the public reception (newspaper reports) of non-controversial sculptures or what I term “quiet reception.” By determining both the structure (who writes articles, the types of articles in which the article surfaces) and the content of newspaper coverage a surprisingly rich data source emerges despite the fact that the three sculptures in the study received no negative press. Three cases of non-controversial sculptures were chosen in three different cities in order to ascertain if regional differences in reception exist as well as to access the range of ways in which reception is framed. Mark di Suvero’s “Ulalu” in Corpus Christi, Claes Oldenburg/Coosje van Bruggen’s “Dropped Bowl” in Miami, and Richard Serra’s “Reading Cones” in Chicago were chosen for the study. A total of twenty-six articles that included references to the sculptures were analyzed. The articles were obtained by conducting newspaper searches using a variety of key terms. I find that three reception themes emerge: legitimation of the artist and modern art, the (re)production of local cultural and urban identities, and the prevalence of references to art controversy. Due to the limitations of the paper I focus on presenting the counter-intuitive results regarding references to controversy in the framing of non-controversial art.


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