The Scandal Syndrome. The Aesthetics and Politics of Art Scandals

  • Funder: Swedish Research Council

Project Description

During this millennium, the public discourse is characterized by increased social, political, and cultural polarization, particularly apparent in the public debate on art. This is especially the case with the phenomenon often labeled as “art scandals.”

The Scandal Syndrome – The Aesthetics and Politics of Art Scandals is an artistic research project that aims to investigate the art scandal from two main and overlapping perspectives: As an arena for ideological positioning and political exploitation by actors outside the culture world, and the visual, thematic, and dramaturgical dimensions of the art scandal itself.

The questions the research project asks are:

• How is the art scandal told and created through the media?

• How has the growing sensationalization of traditional media, the emergence of social media and the intrusion of populism in the arena of established politics affected the emergence of the controversies and their great impact?

• What is the increasingly vulnerable role of art in society in relation to issues of freedom of expression and the principle of an arm’s length distance?

An artistic research method will be used, where the art scandal’s will be investigating within its practices, mechanisms and structures.

The research project will be conducted during 2023-2025 by the artist Måns Wrange and Maria Karlsson, Uppsala University. The project will result in a series of performative events, book, a film, an installation and a conference.

About the Project

Project Duration



The Swedish Research Council

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