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How to manage cultural space: An agonistic analysis of artistic moral rights

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 November 2021

Feyoena Crommelin
Affiliation:
Faculty of Law, VU University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Olaf Tans*
Affiliation:
Amsterdam University College & Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law, VU University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
*Corresponding author; Email: o.j.tans@auc.nl

Abstract

This article analyzes the debate between the proponents and opponents of artistic moral rights and, more specifically, the right of integrity as recognized in the Berne Convention, with the aid of agonistic political theory. Envisaging art as a site of antagonistic struggle, the right of integrity is conceived of as a state-backed mandate to claim an inviolable place for artistic work, founded on a Romantic notion of authorship. The plea against the entrenchment of this right is considered a counter-hegemonic response that challenges this notion in favor of an unfettered development of art and its surrounding discourse. As such, this debate seems to revolve around a conflict of alleged interests – those of artists, of art’s public, and of art itself. It is argued that insights into the discursive behavior of rights, and, by extension, into the effect of rights discourses on antagonistic struggle, are needed to foster this debate.

Type
Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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