Usually visual arts as a segment of the entertainment industry receive little sympathy from intellectual quarters. Nevertheless, art and entertainment often enter into a clearly productive dialogue, especially when art adapts strategies from commercial entertainment production and turns the spectacle against itself. In an art world that is increasingly programmed towards events and spectacles, these manoeuvres to circumvent art, consumer culture, entertainment, and knowledge production sometimes fail. Is it possible to play with the expectations of art institutions and their publics, but all the while critically undermining them? Do different art institutions have other possibilities to entertain without losing themselves in easy amusement? Francesca Habsburg speaks with Nicolaus Schafhausen about alliances, but also dissonances between the didactic (in the positive sense) in contemporary art, and the institutional ambition to reach the widest possible audience.
Francesca Habsburg (*1958) is a collector and the chairman of the TBA21. She lives in Vienna.
Nicolaus Schafhausen (*1965) has been the director of the Kunsthalle Wien since October 2012.