Tijdschrift voor Sociologie vol:21 issue:1 pages:57-78
With modernity arriving in the world of arts, the clergy and the nobility were deprived from their monopoly in artistic selection. This created a permanent problem within modern art industry very soon. The fact is that the question of what exactly renders art into Art became a favourite mind-bending issue for historians, scientists, philosophers and sociologists of art. The same problem of the discovery of dance talent arose with the 'commencing' of contemprary dance in Flanders. We went out in search of an answer to this question from an art sociological point of view, making use of in-depth interviews and record office research with Flemish policy-makers and civil servants, with members of the Advisory Council for Dance, dance programmers and commercial managers. The investigation finally lead to the development of a polar scheme including two basic lines of arguing meant to 'prove' or 'indicate' artistic quality. However, the dichotomy projected does not appear out of thin air. The authors want to document that the arguments for artistic selection reflect two broad traditions of thought within philosophy and sociology of arts.