The term ‘audience development’ is currently employed in cultural policy and within art institutions in order to address questions concerning cultural participation. It centers on two parallel discussions: On the one hand it addresses participation as a democratic ideal, and on the other hand it frames specific forms of audience engagement and the inherent and diverging understandings of participation. This article shows how the discourse developed about audience development reduces the discussion to either legitimizing existing cultural policy practice or to strategies for arts marketing, and it suggests that other important perspectives from e.g. performance studies are overlooked in the discussion of art institutions and their current dilemmas. The article presents a model that sums up four parallel discussions unfolding about audience development: cultural practices, aesthetic strategies for interaction, post performance reflections and everyday life. It is argued that all of these four perspectives need to be addressed for audience development to sincerely challenge the prevailing understanding of art institutions and their current dilemmas.
|Journal||K & K|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2014|