Archive for February, 2019

01
Feb
19

THE BUSINESS OF ART – from manuals; text-books to fiction.

 
I walked into the inter-view room and met the curator. She was in her mid-thirties and had the smile of ‘purpose’ (a Tesiche one) and breasts of a 13-year-old Ms. Hohlenrauch. She asked me plea-SA(i)ntly what I had to show her.

This was a place that I had made love in/to. I felt familiar, not unlike the effect the curator was attempting to achieve with their special lighting effects and stark interior. No I wouldn’t feel like some neo-Rosenberg sycophant in an isolated transept (the Rosenberg theory and their activities are beyond the scope of this article), this was a viewing of my work, a private viewing, to decide on the possibilities of an exhibition in this sometimes benign place.

Seated on the inter-room uni-chair we viewed an E-elaborate video on the possibilities of birth, while she gazed at the inter-mediate door. Later, I was to learn that it was ‘this door’ that inspired most of her decisions. It was also through her ‘keen-Ness’ to open this door that this door failed to provide her with the future prospects of a renowned career (although, co-incidentally, this article was to contribute significantly to the demise of her future prospects and the Jag(uar) became a self satisfied but improvised huntress of a crumbling beauty). We sat in silence for a full fifteen minutes while the proposal wound-down and then I left while the ‘Keen’ curator bid me fair well.

I was just another SFA in the business of art.

The SFA is the self-financing artist. These are the artists who finance their own creativity. From the original idea, to the execution and to the final display, the SFA is not unlike the science fiction author, they think about the future. I was one of these; I was looking for some form of life in this colonial ‘labyrinth’. This search for form was before I was shown the realities of colonial existence only commonly experienced by the un-initiate. The SFA is one that believes in the future far enough to then go about doing something about it. They support our own art and attempt to get it exhibited as often as possible, anywhere and anyhow.

My first impression of the artist was that she was over dressed and seemed like some retro-exist-entialist from the pre-colonial world. I don’t judge people by what they look like but this was too much. I couldn’t take her into the main office so I invited her to sit in one of the

galleries and quietly view what she had to offer. Then she rips out this damn video and I just knew that someone would walk in on us; was this the artwork? Or was I watching some cheap attempt at a publicity stunt, I hoped it wasn’t too long. Fortunately, she left quietly and no one had bothered us. I was free to get on with my real work. A large cup of coffee was what I needed.

The SFA wants to bring art to the people, even those who couldn’t care less about it. The curator’s job is to reassure the SFA. To reassure them that their art is favourable and the quality of there work high. But, the curator has a plan; they obviously can’t afford to exhibit it as no sales are guaranteed. So they assure the SFA:  “What can they do? The work is ahead of its time and may not sell now so…” The solution is that the SFA supports the financial outlay of the exhibition. The curator presents it as the usual way things are done.

A pre-prepared contract is materialised. The SFA, “lost in a dream of glory”, would sign and not notice the clause that specified a minimum charge for the opening, printing of invitations, the catering, the rental of space, the curator’s commission of 60% on any sales and that the gallery kept all rights to the artworks for a specified period for time.

The SFA would agree and sign not realising the injustices of it all. The exhibition opening would be ‘lavish’, but the gallery would send out few invitations and the opening crowd would be made up largely of the artist’s associates. The sales of works would be unusually low and the artist after a period of time would be required to quickly remove the unsold works or be faced with an added storage cost.

The above extract is from a larger text based on biographical-fictional events that have an echo of truth. Any reference to actual living persons or organisations, past or present, may be intentional but more than likely is only accidental and the author cannot take full responsibility for the reader’s personal conclusions.