Monday, October 31, 2011
Just last Thursday I was discussing the Occupy Museums protest with HDB and Michael here in the office. It never would have occurred to me that the next morning, while at an Art Authentication Symposium at Columbia Law School, I'd become a first hand witness to the movement.
After the coffee break, and after Laurence Kanter's lecture on connoisseurship, Elizabeth Gorayeb (a Specialist of Impressionist and Modern Art at Sotheby's) began her lecture on provenance. Within the first 10 minutes she was interrupted by one protestor. Then another. And then another. It was a little shocking, to say the least. This was the most unexpected interruption--at first I wasn't entirely sure what was going on. The second or third protestor made it clear that in addition to the art handlers' fight for pension plans, they were protesting the fact that Columbia's president, Michael Sovern, sits on the Board of Directors of the auction house. Each of the 10 or so protestors were escorted out of the lecture hall without incident, and Ms. Gorayeb continued her lecture. Yepppp, the whole thing was somewhat uneventful.
I don't have too much more to say about the protest other than I was there to witness it. It was attention-getting and inconvenient. But then again, what protest isn't? I left that afternoon thinking more about the panel presenters' lectures than the mumblings I could gather from each of the protestors' shouts. Not the most successful Occupy, I'd guess.
Perhaps this one was more successful.
Thursday, October 27, 2011I would like to point out to the Occupiers of Artists Space that the Space's upcoming exhibition, Identity, is the ultimate example of an exhibition dedicated to examining current institutional brand strategy -- a rather experimental type of exhibit developed by a rather fringe entity (Dexter Sinister), in a space that is free and open to the public. Talk about questioning/exposing some political and economic truths about art institutions!
Its a real shame the Occupiers didn't familiarize themselves with the exhibition program before their little stunt. And to be clear, Identity is two years in the making--this is not being installed as a result of the 28 hour occupation.
October 30 - December 18, 2011
Opening Reception: October 29, 6-8pm
Occupy goes off its rocker and other Monday musings
Monday, October 24, 2011Artists Space was OCCUPIED yesterday. I'm still confused as to why its institutional usage was ever questioned. This is an enduring non-profit that has seemingly always been supportive of artists and has pushed boundaries with regards to their exhibitions. Most recently they exhibited the fantastic Christopher D'Arcangelo "Anarchism Without Adjectives".
The occupiers' blog, Take Artists Space, claims that Artists Space "pull[ed] their program out of a pure irrelevancy of New York non-profit programming". I strongly disagree. I believe the thoughtful D'Arcangelo exhibition is a strong argument against the occupiers' statement.
More on this (pretty lame) OCCUPY occurrence over at Art Fag City and Artinfo.
In other OY news:
The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is on hold. (surprise, surprise)
You guessed it: MTV's next True Life: "I'm Occupying Wall Street"
Maurizio is retiring (not so much "Oy"...more like "oh no")
TAGS: news / occupy
Friday, October 21, 2011
Without divulging my thoughts on the "Occupy" movement as a whole, I'd like to address the issues raised by the branch-movement, Occupy MoMA (and Occupy the New Museum). Artinfo touched on their points here, and I'll reiterate:
1. One chant was, "The Occupy Wall Street Movement will bring forth an era of new art, true experimentation outside the narrow parameters set by the market."
2. The $25 admission price "is obscene."
Let's take a closer look at these two issues. #1 seems out of touch to me. Is the market hindering the production of experimental art? I think in the past few years we've seen an emergence of art that some might tag as truly un-saleable. For example, internet based art (see Breanne Trammell), App-based art (see Rafaël Rozendaal), and the holy grail of the un-collectable: Tino Sehgal. If you purchase a Sehgal, the only "documentation" you receive in terms of explaining the piece is word-of-mouth instructions. Yep. MoMA just added a performance of his to their collection. So, how exactly is the market setting parameters?
#2 is a complaint I've often had, but then again, there are always free or reduced options. So why complain? If it bothers you that much, then head over to the Met and pay-as-you-wish. Most NYC museums this year had record numbers...so the high prices don't seem to be deterring many people.
For more on this topic, read this great piece by Ed Winkleman over at ArtWorldSalon.
TAGS: news / occupy
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