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Giovanna Baccelli, Genine and Sypilis 1782 -2000 After Thomas Gainsborough

In the United Kingdom, art's central position in releation toideas of social rank, race, and national identity was for a long time overlooked. While many artists have been active in this field, the work produced rarely positions itself against the aesthetic and administrative modus operandi that houses it. One consequence is that a self-image emerges in an art public for whom it is usual to assume that those attending 'intellectual pursuits' and 'culturally prestigious events' are above the mundanity of social conflict and who indeed positively cultivate the view of themselves as social liberals with 'anti-'or 'post-' racist leanings. Giving a few naughty artists the odd bit of gallery-space or web space can then be used as a pretext for the careful shunting of these problems outside of the "purified" high-cultural sphere. The creators of social conflict are thereafter located only in the vast majority of peoples not in attendance during events of cultural prestige. Exclusion from this elevated world can thus be written off as self-inflicted. It becomes 'common sense' then that the other cultures are racist get togethers of uninspired ignorance that create the social conflict and that, in a culturally prestigious location, works of art directly concerned with social rank, race, or national identity would be unnecessarily preaching to the converted.