Research Lines_MACCH
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Research line 1

Arts & Heritage in the Making

Key research themes: dynamic heritage; contested heritage; stakeholders; multi-level perspectives; local/global

This research theme studies arts and heritage in the making. It focuses on the ways in which arts, cultural, natural and immaterial heritage are created in processes of negotiation between a variety of actors. Heritage policies have to operate within a field of tensions. On the one hand, arts and heritage are considered to be of increased importance as constitutive for cultural identity and a sense of belonging in an increasingly globalised, multicultural and fast changing environment. On the other hand, arts and heritage are ever more defined as economic assets; the valorisation of arts and heritage can create new jobs and stimulate economic growth. Arts and heritage, in other words, are business: motors that may encourage tourism and, more recently, engage the creative industries. These purposes might go together but very often they conflict with each other and with the traditional goals of arts and heritage conservation.

In this theme, the roles of stakeholders are key; cultural actors, NGO’s, policy bodies and infrastructures such as governmental bodies, cultural foundations, museums and their networking will be investigated. How can we understand the power plays between the various stakeholders and how do they intersect local and global boarders?

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Research Lines_MACCH
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Research line 2

Valorising Arts & Heritage

Key research themes: values; authenticity; ownership; global art market

Rather than focussing on the stakeholders, this research theme focuses on what is ‘at stake’. The research conducted in this frame, explores the valorisation of arts and heritage and the ways cultural values are constituted and legitimatized by analysing both past and present heritage practices with particular attention to the interplays of the legal, cultural, political, social, economic, material and ethical fabrics that make up arts and heritage worlds. How for example to go about the tensions between the preservation of authentic historical sites and economically viable re-use? How to understand and improve these processes? Contemporary artists such as street artist Banksy challenge existing notions of ownership and expertise. Whose work is it and what are the legal and economical ramifications of his way of working? Complex issues such as these require a multidisciplinary perspective in order to understand and anticipate on the ways artists, experts, and art investors feed into these kind of tensions.

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Research Lines_MACCH
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Research line 3

Participation & Presentation

Key research themes: user practices; digital heritage; public-awareness building; distributed responsibility; transmedia storytelling

This theme looks at how arts and heritage are embedded in society. The research theme focuses on the question: Should, and if so how can ‘the public’ become a stakeholder in the making and valorizing of arts and heritage? The current economy is moving into a new phase where people seek to define themselves by their ability to connect, share and communicate. If young generations of consumers place more emphasis on something that can be shared not just by what they own or what they experience, what does this mean for future experience of arts and heritage? How can technological and other innovations enhance the accessibility of arts and heritage and cultural participation and how does this affect its users? How can we, for instance, understand the current trends of personalised heritage experience through the use of technology? But also, now that we can provide access to arts and heritage through open data of imagery and collections, how can this be done in meaningful and innovative ways?

Research conducted under this theme analyses the ways in which arts and heritage is appropriated, enriched, promoted and transmitted in multicultural societies, including through the use of new technologies – with the aim to improve these practices.

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Research Lines_MACCH
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Research line 4

Art Market, Law & Policy

Contemporary intersections between art, cultural heritage and the market are complicated by a variety of ethical, legal, business and financial issues, which frequently are directly related to complex global and historic relations. This research theme examines the ways in which values are constituted and legitimatized by analyzing both past and present arts and heritage practices with particular attention to the interplays of the legal, cultural, social political and economic fabrics that make up these arts and heritage assemblages.

Research topics include: pillage and looting in the past and in the present and the protection of cultural property in times of war and peace, licit and illicit trade, art and heritage disputes, contested heritage and restitution policies, fakes, forgeries, authentication and the role of experts and art market participants, trust and transparency in art markets, auction house predictions of prices (point price estimates) and their relation to actual sales prices.

MACCH researchers collaborate with private and public partners, such as the Royal Academy and the Sotheby's Institute of Art.

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MACCH research centres around the following research lines

  • Research line 1

    Arts & Heritage in the Making

    Dit is er niet
  • Research line 2

    Valorising Arts & Heritage

    Dit is er niet
  • Research line 3

    Participation & Presentation

    Dit is er niet
  • Research line 4

    Art Market, Law & Policy

    Dit is er niet