2007, Sun, Sep 16

Art and Economy

Problematic relationships as well as advantages of art and its economies

12h – 13h The Narratives Panel artists and artists in the role of curators reflect on their experiences
participants: Coco Kühn, Nikki S. Lee, Michael Petry, Dorothy Iannone (to be confirmed)
moderation: Shaheen Merali
(English language with simultaneous translation)

13.15h - 15h The Meta-Narratives Panel curators, collectors, art critics and academics reflect on the relationship of art and the economy
participants: Katja Blomberg, Harald Falckenberg, Julia Höner, Friedrich Loock
moderation: Jörg Heiser
(German language with simultaneous translation)

The increasing attendance at art openings has been documented by a number of witnesses of the art world as recently observed by Carol Kino: “Of course it’s hard to say what came first: the growing desire to acquire art, or to experience it. But since September 11th, 2001, New York has seen a burgeoning appetite for both – and these two extremes continue to characterize art world today. One interesting development is that public art has become extremely popular. […] Also the public’s attitude to art is newly curious and welcoming.” [1]

This observation begs a number of questions when it is twinned with what has been described as the overheated art market with recent sales at auction houses reaching the billion dollar mark. In the current zeitgeist of exhibitions the prevalent condition mirrors these changes, even preceding the space where these changes are initially experienced. Exhibitions as events rather than as visual speculation, the art for which is producing a new history of art, can more appropriately be referred to as “shows” or “showrooms” on account of their populist trappings.

More and more, the artist and artistic densities (from museum quarters through sumo catalogues to tented encampments known as art fairs, and, more recently, the gallerist), rather than the artworks themselves, have become the central registers through which the object of art is read and, it follows, art history is made.

All these traits are over-represented in the largest gathering of commercial galleries in the world (New York is North America’s commercial largesse), an arena that processes thinking and influences in an unprecedented manner. New York’s mythical hold on the global imaginary therefore requires specific nuances through which to analyze its place in our contemporary world. Yet it is the advent of the late twentieth century’s apathetic departure from the previous practice of working from the silence of canonized objects that is relevant to further discussion to further questioning.

[1] Carol Kino: Kunst und Geld in New York in B. Scherer/ D. Diederichsen (Hg.) (2007): NYC – Das vermessene Paradies. Position zu New York, Berlin: Theater der Zeit

An event of “Asia-Pacific Weeks 2007 – Asia-Pacific: Changing the World”. Asia-Pacific Weeks receives funding from the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin DKLB.