Tuesday, December 9, 2008

art & commerce & looking

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — The most trenchant comment on the dazzling and enervating spectacle that is Art Basel Miami Beach is written in bold black and white letters on the floor of the Mary Boone Gallery booth. A wall-to-wall text piece by Barbara Kruger, it spells out two quotations. One, from Goethe, observes, “We are the slaves of objects around us.” The other, from a short story by Edgar Allan Poe, reads, “He entered shop after shop, priced nothing, spoke no word, and looked at all objects with a wild and distracted stare.”

From an article about the art fair. Seems to sum up my experience with the Armory show every time I've gone.

I have a long, boring and muddled relationship with these ideas. Maybe those who are able to more adeptly navigate the art world exhibit a sort of cognitive dissonance; whereby they are able to separate the emotional and theoretical involvement with their own work from the act of selling it and themselves as part of the style and mode that may currently be in fashion in that world.

Or maybe I'm just lazy and bitter, and not really all that good at selling myself and my work. Either/or.

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