Contemporary Art Museums' Marketing Strategies: The Case of the Istanbul Modern Art Museum

Contemporary Art Museums' Marketing Strategies: The Case of the Istanbul Modern Art Museum

Zeynep Guney Celebi
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6190-5.ch021
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Contemporary art museums are significant actors in the entertainment industry, which is recreated by new forms of leisure time activities every day. Entertainment that is used as an important and effective marketing tool in contemporary art museums is also a significant formative of the new relationship between contemporary art museums and their visitors. Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to explore the relationship between art, entertainment, leisure, and museum marketing with a literature review in order to find answers to questions like, What is the relationship between art and entertainment? and Which marketing techniques are used by contemporary art organizations? In this context, the relationship between leisure, entertainment, and contemporary art museums is explained; afterwards, contemporary art museums' marketing strategies are described in detail as the main scope of the study. Finally, as a case study, Istanbul Modern Art Museum's political-economical environment and marketing strategies are analyzed.
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Entertainment as a leisure time activity creates an industry, which grows steadily. In today’s capitalist world leisure is defined as the time outside of work and is explained by the motivation of escaping routine. Leisure activities are associated with entertainment, joy, freedom and willingness, which come along with recreation, amusement and satisfaction. Thus, leisure and entertainment are necessities for all humans. Therefore leisure creates the entertainment industry in order to fulfill these needs, especially in big cities.

Today, entertainment is determined by consumption, and it affects the cultural and sociological conjuncture of societies. Cities, which resemble big shopping malls, produce this industry, which is the combination of almost all entertainment activities. Meanwhile, art tries to find a position for itself in entertainment industry, willingly or not. It becomes an instrument of popular culture, where consumption is at the center of all activity.

In order to comprehend the relationship between art and entertainment, contemporary art museums are the best places to look at. Because, today the contemporary art museum is not just an exhibition place, offering amusement and recreation besides art; thus it can be seen inside the entertainment industry. Accordingly, new museum and exhibition practices correspond to the changing audience expectations. Audiences prefer to experience exaggerated, striking events and museums’ role, position and function are changing inevitably (Huyssen, 2012). Original function of the museum is being lost, and the work of art pushed into a secondary position while the new museums as pleasure places start to show less attention to the work of art (Stephen, 2001).

As an alternative place for leisure time activities, contemporary art museums are going to be reshaping their understanding of art and relationship with their visitors. The consumption of cultural products is based not only on the rational reasons like viewing a work by an important artist or a “must see” motivation, but also the hedonistic needs that derive from pleasure and self-gratification (Lehman, 2012). Depending on the changing structure of museums, art industry and audiences, marketing of museums and art have become a special area in the last twenty years. This paper outlines the changing role of the museum and its relation to the entertainment sector; and defines the marketing strategies of contemporary art museums. It constitutes a framework of contemporary art museum's marketing strategies in Turkey by analyzing Istanbul Modern Art Museum.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Art Marketing: Marketing specialized in the field of art.

Contemporary Art Museum: Art complex which consist of supplementary facilities.

Entertainment Industry: Industry that includes leisure and entertainment activities.

Leisure: Outside the work time.

Museum Marketing Strategies: A special field in the art marketing that consists of market and service oriented strategies.

Creative Cities: Cities where production and consumption of art determine its economy.

Edutainment: Mixed of education and entertainment concept.

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