CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

For Lipovetsky and Serroy (2013), we have entered the era of artist capitalism. According to them, systems of production, distribution and consumption are thoroughly pervaded by operations of an aesthetic nature, conveying affects, sensitivity and sensory universes. The purpose is toprovide experiences, moments of pleasure and sensory delight, of creating style and emotion. “Everywhere, reality is constructed as an image by integrating an aesthetic-emotional dimension which has become central to the competition between companies” (p. 12).
This aestheticisation of economic activity is paralleled by an aestheticisation of lifestyles and the organisation of cities. In both economic and tourist competition to attract these consumers who are eager for fun and experiences, cities are developing similar aesthetic strategies. Urban gentrification is coupled with the creation of bars, restaurants, art galleries, fashion boutiques, and economic activities that call for a style, an electrified and trendy atmosphere (Lipovetsky & Serroy, 2013). Echoing sensory marketing, cities theatricalise to create emotions and sensations. Everything is a spectacle, but unlike the society of the spectacle theorised by Debord (1967), theatricality and spectacularisation promote creativity, diversity, mixing of genres, second degree and reflexivity.
Hence, cities, subjected to ever more rankings and comparisons, develop business strategy techniques, calculation tools which make the city knowable and manageable (Kornberger & Carter, 2010)…


Lipovetski and Serroy, in their 2013 book, described an artist capitalism and an aestheticisation of the world, where competitiveness is played out on the terrain of the senses, of affects and of exacerbated creativity. Management of aesthetic experiences in organisations imposes a distribution of the sensible, limiting the possibilities of other experiences, expression and styles of existence, and is therefore eminently political. However, are not there also forms of resistance, forming scenes of contestation and subversion of this management? Embracing the turn to affect, we study the case such an aestheticisation imposed in the city of Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and the battles of MCs who divert a disused space in order to re-populate it with mobilizing and contesting affects. These duels construct an aesthetic experience that challenges the one dramatised by the city, and its staging of space favourable to consumption. Contrasting aesthetic experiences helps to grasp the extent to which such an aestheticisation imposes a gaze, the selective listening of certain voices, an occupation of space, a repositioning of the public and the common, an order in which everyone remains in their place. If the aestheticisation of the world promotes a theatricalisation, it is a theatre of representation and not of repetition, fighting against all scenes that would propose another distribution of thesensible. It is a theatre, as opposed to performances, wherein the bodies of those who feel having no voice play their own role and keep at their place. From a perspective that is very different from that of an exchange of rational arguments in the public space, the case reveals a guerrilla war of the sensible, where bodies, affects, territories and performances are at the heart of what is played out in cities and organisations.

  • aestheticication of the world
  • distribution of the sensitive
  • duels of MCs
  • affects
  • performance
  • urban management
  • theatricalisation

Résistances à l’esthétisation du monde : scènes et performances

Lipovetski et Serroy, dans leur ouvrage paru en 2013, documentent un capitaliste artiste et une esthétisation du monde, où la compétitivité se joue sur le terrain du sensible, des affects et d’une créativité exacerbée. Le management des expériences esthétiques dans les organisations impose un partage du sensible, limitant les possibilités d’autres expériences, de prises de parole et de styles d’existence, il est en cela éminemment politique. Toutefois, n’y a-t-il pas aussi l’apparition de formes de résistance, formant des scènes de contestations et de subversion de ce management ? Selon une approche tournée vers les affects, nous étudions le cas de l’esthétisation imposée dans la ville de Belo Horizonte (Brésil) et des battles de MCs qui détournent un espace désaffecté pour le retapisser d’affects mobilisateurs et contestataires. Ces duels construisent une expérience esthétique contestant celle théâtralisée par la ville où la mise en scène de l’espace promeut au centre calme, luxe et volupté favorables à la consommation. Le contraste permet de saisir combien l’esthétisation impose un regard, l’écoute sélective de certaines voix, une occupation de l’espace, un repositionnement du public et du commun, un ordre où chacun demeure à sa place. Si l’esthétisation promeut une théâtralisation, il s’agit d’un théâtre de la représentation et non de la répétition, qui combat les scènes qui proposeraient un autre partage du sensible. Un théâtre auquel s’opposent des performances, où les corps de ceux qui ressentent n’avoir pas de voix jouent leur propre rôle et leur place. Dans une perspective bien différente de celle d’un échange d’arguments rationnels dans l’espace public, le cas nous fait découvrir une guérilla du sensible, où corps, affects, territoires et performances sont au cœur de ce qui se joue dans les villes et les organisations.

  • esthétisation du monde
  • partage du sensible
  • duels de MCs
  • affects
  • performance
  • management urbain
  • théâtralisation
Jean-Luc Moriceau
Jean-Luc Moriceau is professor of research methods at Institut Mines-Telecom Business School and a member of LITEM (a Paris-Saclay research laboratory). There he is responsible for doctoral education. He defends a humanistic approach to organisations and to research, in which he emphasises the importance of affects, relatedness and performance. He favours qualitative approaches, inventive methods, reflexivity and performative writing. For him, organisational behaviour can best be studied from an experiential perspective, with a rich and sensitive relationship to the field and/or armed with a variety of organisational theories; as well as with a connection to other human studies such as ethics, ethnography, philosophy and critical approaches. He regularly collaborates with Brazil, the Netherlands and Canada. He has published six books and over 80 articles and book chapters. He has edited six journal special issues, including D/Écrire le qualitatif in RIPCO.
LITEM, University of Evry Val d’Essonne, IMT-BS, University of Paris-Saclay, France
Carlos Magno Camargos Mendonça
Carlos Magno Camargo Mendonça is associate professor at the Department of Social Communication of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil. He co-chairs the research centre for the Study of Aesthetics of Performativity and Communicative Experience (Neepec). His research focuses on the relationship between communication and gender studies, sexuality, performance, the body, male homosexuality and advertising. His research is supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and the Foundation for the Support of Research in Minas Gerais (Fapemig). He has published seven books about the body, aesthetics and performance and about thirty articles, including a previous one at RIPCO.
Núcleo de Estudos em Estéticas do Performático e Experiência Comunicacional, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
Isabela Paes
Isabela Paes is an actress, founder of the Luna Lunera company in Brazil. She holds a doctorate in management science from the Institut Mines-Télécom and is a researcher at LITEM (a laboratory at Paris-Saclay). Her research investigates the intersection of performance art, creativity and organisational behaviour. It provides a critique of the capitalist society, notably based on the writings of Bernard Stiegler and Eugenio Barba. She studies creative organisations, the construction of performativity and new forms and new spaces of work. She has published in journals such as Management International, Revue Française de Gestion, Culture and Organization and RIPCO.
LITEM, University of Evry Val d’Essonne, University of Paris-Saclay, France
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
You still have to read 97% of this article
Purchase full-text 5,00€ 20 pages, electronic only
(html and pdf)
add_shopping_cart Add to cart
Other option
Member of a subscribed institution ? business Authenticate
Uploaded on on 10/03/2023
Distribution électronique pour ESKA © ESKA. Tous droits réservés pour tous pays. Il est interdit, sauf accord préalable et écrit de l’éditeur, de reproduire (notamment par photocopie) partiellement ou totalement le présent article, de le stocker dans une banque de données ou de le communiquer au public sous quelque forme et de quelque manière que ce soit.
Loading... Please wait