Chapter 4 explores how mass media, in the form of daily press, professional journals and television, represented and interpreted contemporary art that was deemed as illegal acts. In consequence, it considers how media discourses intervened and acted in such artistic and legal processes. At the centre of this study are artworks made by three Swedish artists between 1967 and 2009 which were simultaneously considered as both artistic statements and real illegal deeds. These artworks and the ensuing media debates are illuminating examples of how the notion of art is continuously negotiated and interpreted very differently by various agents in diverse contexts. This chapter, therefore, expands its focus beyond the typical agents of the art world such as curators, critics and art historians to include statements and writing by representatives of politics, media, entertainment, law and the general public. Being controversial acts, these artworks were open to multiple interpretations and fed smoothly into the logic of the media system. Accordingly, the artists and their artworks were described as breaking news in the standard vocabulary of the press. In addition, they all elicited extensive media discussions on the definition of art.
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