Artful Legitimacy: The Role of Materiality in Practices of Legitimation

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This paper highlights the role of materiality in legitimising art organising as occurs at festivals and performances. Through ethnographic fieldwork pertaining to art events and projects, we documented how legitimacy is accomplished through the very performance of art. We observed that artistic practices materialise the very norms by which they are assessed and demarcate a normative space of their own. Our paper contributes to the research on legitimacy by showing that it takes place through connection with societal norms and also through a disconnection that fosters such a distinct space. Legitimation thus corresponds to configuring the specific situation where the actions under scrutiny are legitimate; it is a continuous process that is accomplished not for but with an audience.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)919-938
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 06.2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

    Research areas

  • Entrepreneurship - art, communication, discourse, legitimation, materialisation, materiality