Thanks for pointing me in this direction. I hope the Interior Department makes the right decision and lets these old platforms stand. I would hate to be the person in government charged with enforcing a bureaucratic edict to destroy a thriving ecosystem!
“… the pin-headed and contemptible style of gumchewers, bobby-soxers and worse, delinquents.”
— Max Kozloff on pop art
“There may be places where a cannon on the front lawn might be just the right thing.”
— Robert Irwin on public art]]>
Perhaps his (in)actions are best understood in terms of personality: Jobs was arguably the purest agent on the planet, in terms of “agency” as the ability to control and change one’s environment.
Whereas undergoing surgery is an exercise in pure objecthood: one sets aside all personal agency to become nothing more than material manipulated by an other, and with no purpose or involvement in the process save the involuntary one of remaining alive.
We are all agent, object, and spirit — to deny any one is to deny life.]]>
No, I didn’t attend Flag Stop. I was made aware of it by a William Moreno Contemporary who represented artists there.
Thank you for the link. No, I was unfamiliar with Flag Stop. Did you attend? Cool concept though. And I think your right, the artists involvement seemed to make a difference from what I could glean from the article. This and the flexibility to maxamize the space which I think hampered, to a large degree, the SD Fair and the Art Labs. I hope they continue.]]>
Thanks for taking the time to respond from the heart.
The drift (or thesis if you like) of my essay fell into my lap after seeing Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams. My goal was to expand the reader’s idea of what art has been in comparison to how it is presented at art fairs, Art San Diego being the example closest at hand. So in a way you are right, art fairs are hardly the issue, maybe only a small element in the larger frame of reference.
I wonder if you heard of the Flag Stop event that took place in LA the same weekend as Art San Diego? Artists were more deeply involved in its organization and direction. It was staged in an automobile showroom instead of a hotel conference hall. Even the change of venue seems to offer new possibilities.
Thoughtful essay, much to ponder and an apt reminder of where “art” originated from and where it is now – freed from the cave as it where. I would like to think most artists still possess some of those shamanistic qualities (the ritual of making art in the studio and the belief in its “spiritual,” if not contemporary, message) but I’m not so sure anymore. That aside, it’s quite easy to take a stand against the art market – like a whiff of bad things to come or warnings on a pack of cigarettes against their consumption and use. Art fairs are just one aspect, one cog in the machinery of the art world, a model of commercial exchange that has been universally adopted buy us all as a way of conducting business. And it is just that, business.
I do not believe any of the corporate sponsors of this year’s art fair including VIP attendees, applicants, or anyone else participating even remotely questioned whether or not they were having a negative effect on “critical artistic practices”. If they did, it’s likely they didn’t care or even notice. They all received compensation for their sponsorship or paid participation in one way or another. Even a half-hearted attempt by Quint to supplant the supermarket mentality of buying and selling art fell flat as subversive pastiche despite the jolly absurd romp that it was.
The point is everyone was aware of their bottom line, even the Children’s Museum who set up shop just outside the entrance to sell local artists’ works. There was no altruistic behavior or critical thinking demonstrated in any of this, it was not about art per se or even about artists, it was about the selling of herrings. To believe otherwise is the blind leading the blind. I’m ok with this though, I quite agree with Zwimer’s model. At least it’s not pretending to be something more or serve a higher purpose. That in itself is refreshing.
Art fairs do not stop artists from making work nor do they interfere with their interests, even if those interests are still waiting to be defined. It must seem everything is in opposition to an artist’s vision or discourse when others capitalize on their efforts, failing as artists typically do to establish their role and participation in any of this. I believe NO would be a good word to employ from time to time. But their power and actions are also in jeopardy. Betting their artistic production against “potential” sales is probably not a good idea, but using that artistic production to establish a base line in society as a commodity worth paying for (worth over speculation) probably is. Defining the role of the artist within her community (at least as important as other working professionals) as a generator of beneficial ideas, causes, and potential solutions to urban living and planning, societal needs and general well being, even education… ad nauseum would be appreciated and helpful.
Some 32,000 years later, artists need to wake up to what’s going on around them in the world and do something about their own fate. Art fairs are hardly the issue or the priority.]]>
Consider the following article on the introduction of a new automobile to the USA:
The marketers in question decided to rename the dealerships as “studios”.
Meantime, the news article itself offers “galleries” of photos accompanying the article.
The ultimate irony here is that the target audience for this car statistically has no interest in art galleries or art studios per se, yet they are expected to respond positively to these terms for their ability to cast an aura of enchantment over the product in question.
Poor artists… they never had a chance.]]>
the art gallery followed soon after in the 1961-62 school year with a one-man show by john baldessari.]]>