Umělec magazine 2001/4 >> Fear Not the Fair List of all editions.
Fear Not the Fair
Umělec magazine
Year 2001, 4
6,50 EUR
Send the printed edition:
Order subscription

Fear Not the Fair

Umělec magazine 2001/4

01.04.2001

Ivan Mečl | news | en cs

"A number of Czech art theorists and artists are still under the impression that art fairs amount to nothing but a brown stain on the list of international art happenings. The more pragmatic consider them a necessary evil; they will sometimes dare to visit one, but the tradition of contemptuously slamming fairs perseveres.
This is called the anxiety of reality and the panicky fear of looking into the mirror of contemporary art. Like it or not, art fairs show the visual, and content-bearing state of contemporary art and social self-reflection. Its culture, or the lack of it, its cleverness or stupidity, its calculation or naiveté all show through without the protecting hand of a curator. Simply put, it’s all just hanging naked and defenseless, spread out in front of you with huge, small or no economic talent. And it just has to go on.
Denouncing the art business because it deals in spiritual substance is a unique characteristic of the Czech intellectual world. But contemporary society uses money, and has no other way of measuring the real, transferable and universal. We’ve all chosen such a society, and we can accept its values or ridicule them. But serious attack is the same as “fouling one’s own nest,” unless one is preparing for a revolution, which is the only goal that can justify such actions.
Let’s assume that we’re not revolutionaries, but art theorists. Nevertheless we act like revolutionaries and claim that the art business is bad and hurts the arts. In serious debates we tell this to the artists; we warn them against the temptations of the market; we promise them a life lost in a labyrinth of grants, scholarships and exchange programs. In other words, the life of an artist gone mad from his or her own genius, measured by committees comprised of intellectuals with a similar fate. Frustrated by knowledge of this reality, the artist fears to say aloud that he or she would like to be represented by a commercial gallery and take part in art fairs. He or she would be glad to sell something in order to stop looking for other jobs and borrowing money; he or she would very much like to become economically independent. Because in fact the feeling of being economically independent nourishes spiritual independence.
In order to prove that putting one’s work on the market is not a nefarious act, it is necessary to disprove a few superstitions.
It is untrue that only bad and stupid art — art made for business — sells. Explaining that the contemporary art market is not bound by restrictive criteria preventing certain works or artists to enter the exchange is futile. If we insist on this superstition, we condemn all buyers and interested parties to play the role of ignorant fools manipulated by vicious and feeble-minded gallerists. We condemn them for being individuals that lack will and discernment, something we have practiced for so many years in special art schools. Are we not actually afraid that an unscholarly person might be able to evaluate a work of art by knowing and agreeing on its price?
It is untrue that an art fair is depressing. This stems from a very personal feeling of fear in professionals who fail to understand it, the feeling of a vegetarian falling into a pot of lamb goulash — something that should happen once in a while, if only so that he knows exactly why he’s a vegetarian.
It is untrue that nobody in the galleries is willing to talk to you if you’re not buying. The fact that you’re there means that maybe one day… when you manage to work out your opinions and stop wanting to be just given artworks for free…
It is untrue that most gallerists at art fairs go for the surefire stuff and exhibit only proven works. On the contrary, some gallerists take significant risks by showing new names, many more than one would expect in such a situation. Some works do anticipate a progressive and sensitive buyer, it’s true, because there are those who care more about being close to a chosen work than amassing money.
Ivan Mečl
"




01.04.2001

Comments

There are currently no comments.

Add new comment

Recommended articles

Intoxicated by Media Déjà-vu / Notes on Oliver Pietsche"s Image Strategy Intoxicated by Media Déjà-vu / Notes on Oliver Pietsche"s Image Strategy
Goff & Rosenthal gallery, Berlin, November 18 - December 30, 2006 Society permanently renegotiates the definition of drugs and our relationship towards them. In his forty-five minute found-footage film The Conquest of Happiness, produced in 2005, Oliver Pietsch, a Berlin-based video artist, demonstrates which drugs society can accommodate, which it cannot, and how the story of the drugs can be…
Terminator vs. Avatar: Notes on Accelerationism Terminator vs. Avatar: Notes on Accelerationism
Why political intellectuals, do you incline towards the proletariat? In commiseration for what? I realize that a proletarian would hate you, you have no hatred because you are bourgeois, privileged, smooth-skinned types, but also because you dare not say that the only important thing there is to say, that one can enjoy swallowing the shit of capital, its materials, its metal bars, its polystyrene…
The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s
The editors of Umělec have decided to come up with a list of ten artists who, in our opinion, were of crucial importance for the Czech art scene in the 1990s. After long debate and the setting of criteria, we arrived at a list of names we consider significant for the local context, for the presentation of Czech art outside the country and especially for the future of art. Our criteria did not…
Nick Land – An Experiment in Inhumanism Nick Land – An Experiment in Inhumanism
Nick Land was a British philosopher but is no longer, though he is not dead. The almost neurotic fervor with which he scratched at the scars of reality has seduced more than a few promising academics onto the path of art that offends in its originality. The texts that he has left behind are reliably revolting and boring, and impel us to castrate their categorization as “mere” literature.
ArtLeaks
27.07.2014 19:39
Where to go next?
out - archeology
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
Josef Jindrák
Who is S.d.Ch? A person of many interests, active in various fields—literature, theater—known for his comics and collages in the art field. A poet and playwright foremost. A loner by nature and determination, his work doesn’t meet the current trends. He always puts forth personal enunciation, although its inner structure can get very complicated. It’s pleasant that he is a normal person and a…
Read more...
out - poetry
THC Review and the Condemned Past
THC Review and the Condemned Past
Ivan Mečl
We are the fifth global party! Pítr Dragota and Viki Shock, Fragmenty geniality / Fragments of Charisma, May and June 1997. When Viki came to visit, it was only to show me some drawings and collages. It was only as an afterthought that he showed me the Czech samizdat publication from the late 1990s, THC Review. When he saw how it fascinated me, he panicked and insisted that THAT creation is…
Read more...
prize
To hen kai pán (Jindřich Chalupecký Prize Laureate 1998 Jiří Černický)
To hen kai pán (Jindřich Chalupecký Prize Laureate 1998 Jiří Černický)
Read more...
birthing pains
Who’s Afraid of Motherhood?
Who’s Afraid of Motherhood?
Zuzana Štefková
Expanding the definition of “mother” is also a space for reducing pressure and for potential liberation.1 Carol Stabile The year was 2003, and in the deep forests of Lapák in the Kladno area, a woman in the later phase of pregnancy stopped along the path. As part of the “Artists in the Woods” exhibit, passers-by could catch a glimpse of her round belly, which she exposed especially for them in…
Read more...
Books, video, editions and artworks that might interest you Go to e-shop
Moving yet perverse story of a sport-loving pinguin who died a hockey star at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, following his...
More info...
3,22 EUR
Fountain, 1995, silkscreen print, 44 x 27,5 cm
More info...
65 EUR
London Urbanism
More info...
11 EUR
A document of one of the symposia in legendary Plasy. The art action this time was inspired by the fairy-tale under the...
More info...
6,04 EUR

Studio

Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...
 

Citation of the day. Publisher is not liable for any mental and physical states which may arise after reading the quote.

Enlightenment is always late.
CONTACTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION The entire editorial staff contacts

DIVUS LONDON 
Arch 8, Resolution Way, Deptford
London SE8 4NT, United Kingdom

Open Wednesday to Saturday 12 - 6 pm

 

Office: +44 (0) 20 8692 5157
 

Ivan Mečl
ivan@divus.org.uk, +44 (0) 7526 902 082

 

Shop
shop@divus.org.uk, +44 (0) 20 8692 5157

DIVUS PERLA
Former papermill area, Nádražní 101
252 46 Vrané nad Vltavou, Czech Republic
ivan@divus.cz, +420 602 269 888

Open from Wednesday to Sunday between 11am to 6pm. From 15.12. to 15.1. only on appointment.

 

DIVUS BERLIN
at ZWITSCHERMASCHINE
Potsdamer Str. 161, 10783 Berlin, Germany

berlin@divus.cz, +49 (0) 1512 9088 150
Open Wednesday to Saturday 2 - 7 pm

 

DIVUS WIEN
wien@divus.cz
DIVUS MEXICO CITY
mexico@divus.cz
DIVUS BARCELONA
barcelona@divus.cz
DIVUS MOSCOW & MINSK
alena@divus.cz

DIVUS NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION
Divus New book by I.M.Jirous in English at our online bookshop.