What About Art?

The understanding of cultural goods and art is undergoing transformation. One significant complication thereby is the fact that "art" does not easily fit into the mass of cultural goods that surround it.

Identity politics, post-colonial perspectives and the media transformation concerned therewith pose challenges to the traditional understanding of cultural goods and art: How do we understand, collect, show and market cultural goods today? How is the way in which art is produced, interpreted, supported, exhibited and sold currently changing? And last but not least: what is it that is operating as a cultural commodity under the banner of "art". The first two questions – even without answering the third – are not identical.

The search for locations for cultural goods and the determination of the freedom and boundaries of art overlap. This is particularly the case when aesthetic autonomy, cultural self-image and understanding of identity as well as the economic aspects of cultural goods and art come together, or when addressing the role of state and private galleries, collections and museum, publications and theaters. The CAS Research Focus addresses these questions from the perspectives of aesthetics, art history, law as well as literature and theater studies, because in these questions we find traces of a structural transformation of society and public life which can be understood as a transformation in the political concept of representation.


Research Focus Group

  • Prof. Dr. Kerstin Pinther
    (Institute of Art History, LMU)
  • Prof. Dr. Barbara Vinken, Ph.D.
    (Chair of Romance Philology and Literature Studies, LMU)


Visiting Fellows

Prof. Emanuele Coccia, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow

Neil MacGregor

Previous Visiting Fellow

Prof. Dr. Bodo Pieroth

Previous Visiting Fellow


  • Panel Discussion – "Geteilte Zugänge und die Demusealisierung des Blicks: Neue Formen des Umgangs mit Kulturgütern in Museen"
    (Summer Semester 2019)
  • Art at CAS – "Beate Passow − Der letzte Schrei"
    (Winter Semester 2019/20)
  • Workshop – "Cultural Heritage: On Sharing, Caring, and Accessing"
    (Winter Semester 2019/20)
  • Lunch Talk by Prof. Dr. Emanuele Coccia – "Die Erfindung des Lifestyles. Norm und Freiheit in der Mode"
    (Winter Semester 2019/20)
  • Internal Workshop – "Norm und Zensur: Die Kunst der Freiheit"
    (Winter Semester 2019/20)
  • Lecture by Dr. Jonas Bens – "Die Sentimentalisierung von Menschen und Dingen: Die Zerstörung der Mausoleen von Timbuktu vor dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof"
    (Summer Semester 2020)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Bodo Pieroth – "Kunstfreiheit im Verfassungswandel"
    (Winter Semester 2020/21)
  • Lecture by Prof. Dr. Gunnar Folke Schuppert – "Wie resilient ist unsere Politische Kultur?"
    (Winter Semester 2020/21)
  • Workshop – "Was kann Kunst? Was darf Kunst?"
    (Summer Semester 2021)


  • Bodo Pieroth: Kunstfreiheit im Verfassungswandel
    Mit einem Gespräch über Kunstfreiheit und Identitätspolitik zwischen Bodo Pieroth, Antoinette Maget Dominicé und Jens Kersten, Mohr Siebeck 2021.

"What About Art" -- Videos