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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 32, Issue 1/2, Spring 2013

Bernadette Loacker
Pages 21-48
DOI: 10.5840/bpej2013321/22

Modulated Power Structures in the Arts and their Subjectivity-constituting Effects
An Exploration of the Ethical Self-relations of Performative Artists

This paper, conceptually mainly informed by Michel Foucault’s notion of morality, ethics, and ethical practice, illustrates the power program and the moral codes which currently govern the professional field of the arts. Building on empirical material from the field of theatre, the paper discusses how the moral codes and subject ideals that are promoted through the ‘culturepreneurial’ program affect and shape the subjectivity of artists and their specific modes of organizing ethical relations to self and others (Foucault 1984, 1986). The insights of the study emphasize that subjectification presents a dynamic and precarious process. Discursively promoted moral codes are used by the artists in a variety of ways; they are accepted, undermined, and re-created. While doing so, artistic professionals contribute to both their own subjection and in-subordination.