I have been banging on about this for years – my other favourite is when cafes are ‘generous’ to offer you ‘free’ wall space!! More like free art for their walls!!
YES it is time for a new business model within the artworld- and this article explains the issue extremely effectively through a great analogy.
Artists also need to pay bills and put food on the table – in case nobody noticed the days of art patrons are long gone!!
Imagine you were planning a party. Imagine you rented a hall for your party, paying the landlord the going rate for renting a hall of that size. Imagine you then sent letters to every caterer in town, inviting them to send “submissions” for the meal, which read like this:
Please provide a list of menu items, with pictures in jpeg format, a list of ingredients for each item, and a brief chef’s statement about your work and a bio with relevant training and previous catered events listed.
And then imagine that you selected the menu items you thought might appeal to your guests and sent an acceptance to the successful caterers along with a contract like this:
You will deliver the menu items selected on the date of the party, ready to be served by 5:30 pm. You will be responsible for all costs of transport and preparation of your…
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Stelarc is an Australian internationally known performance artist who performed at the Lorne Sculpture show this year. His performance was based around his Ear On Arm project, a project which has evolved over the past decade. Stelarc has grafted a replicate ear on his left forearm, which will eventually be able to hear and respond. More information about his project can be found here: http://stelarc.org/?catID=20242
Much of Stelarc’s past work has centered around “the body”… its use, how it can or cannot be modified, bodily identity, what the body can or cannot withstand and similar such themes.
I enjoyed this performance. From my perspective Stelarc’s laying on an oversized sculpture of his “Ear on Arm” and being painted with white clay slip, enabled him to merge with the sculpture, signifying his becoming ‘one’ with the decade long project, which has been problematic at times… finally his identity merged with the altered , yet (in the future) functional ear on arm: a mutual acceptance.
But are there larger societal questions at stake here? The introduced ear is foreign to the arm… it doesn’t belong… it looks “different”, “funny”…yet Stelarc presents a scenario where each accepts the other, but under what conditions? A passive merging … a homogenisation? In the context of globalisation such questioning of acceptance, on personal, social, economic and political levels, are crucial. This is now evident with the mass revolutionary movements that are occurring worldwide.
But I will get off my soapbox now & just say that it was great to see so many families wandering around the show on the weekend, because the young kids that are getting exposed to wide and varied art at a young age will be those revolutionary thinkers of the future… we hope!! (oops, soapboxing again!!) Enjoy the slideshow!!