Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Free art ?

Number 1 according to ArtReview
Photograph: Uwe Zucchi/dpa/Corbis
FREE art doesn't exist despite that art curators like Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (left) will chortle with her cronies about how it is the accepted expectation. And, as it appears, all artists no matter how well known, established and collected by institutions they may become they are still seen as the most inconvenient aspect of putting on an art show because horror of horrors they too expect to be paid for their efforts/work/ideas/expertise. 
These fashionable elite who laughalong with her about how the participating artists (to paraphrase) don't need to be paid because their work is being used and featured in the show, are no more than art and idea thieves aimed at benefiting their own aggrandisement and commercial targets, mere promoters of their exclusive and stylish events.
They believe, and will have us all agree, that artists are grateful to have been chosen and will be happy for the thin air of acknowledgement alone. Acknowledgement is a given, it is illegal not to do so and it essentially costs nothing. What a boon for the artist, congratulations Carolyn et al.
See what you think, the video goes for a couple of minutes, funny and insightful stuff by W.A.G.E 
The problem for artists, from the dizzying heights of the world of Art Museum's to the lowly self-funded exhibitor is it is the over-whelming expectation that artists thrive on the concept of their poverty - this is the corollary of the silly idea that all they need is recognition. Well, no that is incorrect. Art is not a charity. Art costs money to produce, in time and materials and it also costs in terms of idea. The thought that goes into the production of innovative skilled art, that changes or challenges our thinking, costs the artists and benefits the culture into which it emerges.
It is an extraordinary experience to receive adequate recompense, for most artists. For most this will remain a dream, never a true reality, but to actively reinforce as accepted practice the non-compensation of artists for their time, efforts, ideas and work, because these "masters" (who know better) think that we artists (servants) will be happy with recognition alone, is deliberately self-deluding, deceitful, cheap and unsustainable. 
But then perhaps this is because it is not about Art (skill, ideas, drama, innovation, human endeavor and excellence) at all? 
Society pays gladly for ephemeral experience and products possessing the life span of flavoured chewing gum but balks at the real cost of art. Artists need to be paid as is the expectation of any other professional. Most artists cannot eek out any living based upon what they earn from their work, to try to do so would mean living below the poverty line. Very few artists come from privilege and connection so they have to try to make it alone. It usually means some brilliant art and artists are never recognised for what they bring to the world - and for the most part it seems with the expectation that it is created for free use. How very altruistic of the artist, so that the public can have free visual experiences or cheap entertainment whilst the organisers of events and the politicians and eminent persons funding the institutions receive the recognition, kudos and commercial gain.
This is not a new refrain but one now with an up to date reference point for protest - see link above. Thanks to W.A.G.E. for shining a light on the pretty crap attitudes and expectations of our world top 100 arts/cultural elite.
The subject/s who inspired W.A.G.E are according to ArtReview the top 100 most influential power
elite of the art world. 

No comments:

About Leeanneart

My photo
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
We are first and foremost human with a responsibility to the humanity within us and not to any faith, political, apolitical, social or societal group, union or faction. We are responsible for our own reputation, and for what deeds we do and what achievements or otherwise in life we enjoy. The rest is nonsense.