Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
More than 400 files are now on iTunes U - a section of the online store which features educational content.
Projects include a series of films that use social networking site Twitter to bring the audience's questions directly to artists like David Hockney.
There are also recent interviews with contemporary artists including Jeff Koons and Louise Bourgeois.
Clips of Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed and his band performing at the Tate Modern are featured alongside debates about his work.
Audio recordings of leading academics, teaching resources and multimedia guides for the latest Tate exhibitions will also be made available.
The Tate has four galleries - two in London, one in Liverpool and one in St Ives, in Cornwall.
By EILENE ZIMMERMAN
Published: April 11, 2009
Q. You are about to graduate from college and will be entering one of the toughest job markets in decades. Is the situation as hopeless as it looks?
A. Unemployment is at a 25-year high, and employers expect to hire 22 percent fewer graduates this year than they hired last year, according to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. So, yes, the situation is troubling, but it certainly isn’t hopeless.
Accept that you may need to adjust expectations — not just about the job itself, but also about its pay and location.
“If you studied finance, consider working in accounting, insurance, small business or government, rather than just Wall Street,” said Lindsey Pollak, author of “Getting From College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World” and a blogger on www.pwc.tv, a PricewaterhouseCoopers career site for new college graduates.
Keep in mind that the rest of your life is unlikely to be determined by your first job, said Rebecca Sparrow, director of career services at Cornell University. “Understand that no matter what you choose, it will be an opportunity to learn about work and about yourself, and that will help with your next step.”
Q. Everyone is scouring major online job boards for work. Are there other, less-trafficked ways to approach your search?
A. You can still use the big job boards to figure out what industries and jobs you should be focusing on. But smaller, specialized job boards for a geographic area or occupational field are more likely to yield more useful leads, said Steven Rothberg, founder of CollegeRecruiter.com, a career Web site for college students and recent graduates. And don’t forget to visit corporate Web sites for lists of job openings.
You can also look at companies that aren’t in your chosen field but are hiring, Ms. Pollak said. “You don’t have to be an accountant to work in an accounting firm or an engineer to work in an engineering firm,” she said, “because there are often many disciplines — like marketing, human resources, facilities maintenance — within those companies.”
Other possibilities are jobs in the federal government, one of the few big organizations that is hiring on a large scale. “The federal government has offices in virtually every city in the country,” Mr. Rothberg said, and it is “hiring for full-time, entry-level positions.”
Don’t forget a resource in your own backyard: your college’s career services office, Ms. Sparrow said. Not only can career counselors help with résumés, but they can also determine what industries and employers you should focus on, assist with researching jobs and connect you with alumni working in your field.
Q. Should you consider doing unpaid work if you can’t find a paying job?
A. Absolutely. Many companies and nonprofit organizations advertise paid and unpaid internships, but you can also create your own. Contact companies, especially small ones, in your field and ask if they would allow you to do unpaid, entry-level work in exchange for the experience and industry connections, Mr. Rothberg said.
You can volunteer at a nonprofit organization in an area relevant to your career, like accounting, marketing or education. “This allows you stay involved in the work force in some way, developing your skills so you have something to sell to employers when the market turns around,” said Philip D. Gardner, director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute of Michigan State University.
Q. Can you use Facebook and Twitter to find job leads?
A. You can use Facebook, but first clean up your page and delete any controversial content or photographs, said Christine Padian Bolzan, founder and C.E.O. of Graduate Career Coaching in Boston.
Use the status update tool on the site to ask your friends for help. “Write: ‘I’m looking for a job in D.C. in public policy. Anyone got any ideas? Leads? Advice?’ You will get feedback and help,” she said.
Search Twitter to find employees tweeting about their jobs. They may mention job openings that have not been posted or reveal information about a company that you wouldn’t find anywhere else, she said.
Create a profile on the LinkedIn Web site and urge your parents to sign up as well, so you can have access to their contacts, Ms Bolzan suggested. “You might not want to friend your parents, but you definitely want to link to them,” she said. “You need to use everyone who can help you in this market, and that means networking with your parents’ friends.”
Once you find people who might be able to help, ask if you can meet with them briefly to talk about the career. Ms. Sparrow said: “Don’t ask about job openings at their company. Your approach is that you want information.”
Q. While searching for a job, you still have to pay your bills. Will taking an hourly job unrelated to your chosen profession be viewed negatively?
A. Doing something like making lattes for a year could actually make you a more valuable candidate in the future.
“When the economy turns around you’ll be able to tell employers how you made the best of a difficult situation,” Ms. Pollak said. “I don’t think any recruiter will hold against you what you did to get through the recession.”
Sunday, April 12, 2009
To Hell with Good Intentions
by Ivan Illich
An address by Monsignor Ivan Illich to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects (CIASP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on April 20, 1968. In his usual biting and sometimes sarcastic style, Illich goes to the heart of the deep dangers of paternalism inherent in any voluntary service activity, but especially in any international service "mission." Parts of the speech are outdated and must be viewed in the historical context of 1968 when it was delivered, but the entire speech is retained for the full impact of his point and at Ivan Illich's request.
IN THE CONVERSATIONS WHICH I HAVE HAD TODAY, I was impressed by two things, and I want to state them before I launch into my prepared talk.
I was impressed by your insight that the motivation of U.S. volunteers overseas springs mostly from very alienated feelings and concepts. I was equally impressed, by what I interpret as a step forward among would-be volunteers like you: openness to the idea that the only thing you can legitimately volunteer for in Latin America might be voluntary powerlessness, voluntary presence as receivers, as such, as hopefully beloved or adopted ones without any way of returning the gift.
I was equally impressed by the hypocrisy of most of you: by the hypocrisy of the atmosphere prevailing here. I say this as a brother speaking to brothers and sisters. I say it against many resistances within me; but it must be said. Your very insight, your very openness to evaluations of past programs make you hypocrites because you - or at least most of you - have decided to spend this next summer in Mexico, and therefore, you are unwilling to go far enough in your reappraisal of your program. You close your eyes because you want to go ahead and could not do so if you looked at some facts.
It is quite possible that this hypocrisy is unconscious in most of you. Intellectually, you are ready to see that the motivations which could legitimate volunteer action overseas in 1963 cannot be invoked for the same action in 1968. "Mission-vacations" among poor Mexicans were "the thing" to do for well-off U.S. students earlier in this decade: sentimental concern for newly-discovered. poverty south of the border combined with total blindness to much worse poverty at home justified such benevolent excursions. Intellectual insight into the difficulties of fruitful volunteer action had not sobered the spirit of Peace Corps Papal-and-Self-Styled Volunteers.
Today, the existence of organizations like yours is offensive to Mexico. I wanted to make this statement in order to explain why I feel sick about it all and in order to make you aware that good intentions have not much to do with what we are discussing here. To hell with good intentions. This is a theological statement. You will not help anybody by your good intentions. There is an Irish saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions; this sums up the same theological insight.
The very frustration which participation in CIASP programs might mean for you, could lead you to new awareness: the awareness that even North Americans can receive the gift of hospitality without the slightest ability to pay for it; the awareness that for some gifts one cannot even say "thank you."
Now to my prepared statement.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
For the past six years I have become known for my increasing opposition to the presence of any and all North American "dogooders" in Latin America. I am sure you know of my present efforts to obtain the voluntary withdrawal of all North American volunteer armies from Latin America - missionaries, Peace Corps members and groups like yours, a "division" organized for the benevolent invasion of Mexico. You were aware of these things when you invited me - of all people - to be the main speaker at your annual convention. This is amazing! I can only conclude that your invitation means one of at least three things:
Some among you might have reached the conclusion that CIASP should either dissolve altogether, or take the promotion of voluntary aid to the Mexican poor out of its institutional purpose. Therefore you might have invited me here to help others reach this same decision.
You might also have invited me because you want to learn how to deal with people who think the way I do - how to dispute them successfully. It has now become quite common to invite Black Power spokesmen to address Lions Clubs. A "dove" must always be included in a public dispute organized to increase U.S. belligerence.
And finally, you might have invited me here hoping that you would be able to agree with most of what I say, and then go ahead in good faith and work this summer in Mexican villages. This last possibility is only open to those who do not listen, or who cannot understand me.
I did not come here to argue. I am here to tell you, if possible to convince you, and hopefully, to stop you, from pretentiously imposing yourselves on Mexicans.
I do have deep faith in the enormous good will of the U.S. volunteer. However, his good faith can usually be explained only by an abysmal lack of intuitive delicacy. By definition, you cannot help being ultimately vacationing salesmen for the middle-class "American Way of Life," since that is really the only life you know. A group like this could not have developed unless a mood in the United States had supported it - the belief that any true American must share God's blessings with his poorer fellow men. The idea that every American has something to give, and at all times may, can and should give it, explains why it occurred to students that they could help Mexican peasants "develop" by spending a few months in their villages.
Of course, this surprising conviction was supported by members of a missionary order, who would have no reason to exist unless they had the same conviction - except a much stronger one. It is now high time to cure yourselves of this. You, like the values you carry, are the products of an American society of achievers and consumers, with its two-party system, its universal schooling, and its family-car affluence. You are ultimately-consciously or unconsciously - "salesmen" for a delusive ballet in the ideas of democracy, equal opportunity and free enterprise among people who haven't the possibility of profiting from these.
Next to money and guns, the third largest North American export is the U.S. idealist, who turns up in every theater of the world: the teacher, the volunteer, the missionary, the community organizer, the economic developer, and the vacationing do-gooders. Ideally, these people define their role as service. Actually, they frequently wind up alleviating the damage done by money and weapons, or "seducing" the "underdeveloped" to the benefits of the world of affluence and achievement. Perhaps this is the moment to instead bring home to the people of the U.S. the knowledge that the way of life they have chosen simply is not alive enough to be shared.
By now it should be evident to all America that the U.S. is engaged in a tremendous struggle to survive. The U.S. cannot survive if the rest of the world is not convinced that here we have Heaven-on-Earth. The survival of the U.S. depends on the acceptance by all so-called "free" men that the U.S. middle class has "made it." The U.S. way of life has become a religion which must be accepted by all those who do not want to die by the sword - or napalm. All over the globe the U.S. is fighting to protect and develop at least a minority who consume what the U.S. majority can afford. Such is the purpose of the Alliance for Progress of the middle-classes which the U.S. signed with Latin America some years ago. But increasingly this commercial alliance must be protected by weapons which allow the minority who can "make it" to protect their acquisitions and achievements.
But weapons are not enough to permit minority rule. The marginal masses become rambunctious unless they are given a "Creed," or belief which explains the status quo. This task is given to the U.S. volunteer - whether he be a member of CLASP or a worker in the so-called "Pacification Programs" in Viet Nam.
The United States is currently engaged in a three-front struggle to affirm its ideals of acquisitive and achievement-oriented "Democracy." I say "three" fronts, because three great areas of the world are challenging the validity of a political and social system which makes the rich ever richer, and the poor increasingly marginal to that system.
In Asia, the U.S. is threatened by an established power -China. The U.S. opposes China with three weapons: the tiny Asian elites who could not have it any better than in an alliance with the United States; a huge war machine to stop the Chinese from "taking over" as it is usually put in this country, and; forcible re-education of the so-called "Pacified" peoples. All three of these efforts seem to be failing.
In Chicago, poverty funds, the police force and preachers seem to be no more successful in their efforts to check the unwillingness of the black community to wait for graceful integration into the system.
And finally, in Latin America the Alliance for Progress has been quite successful in increasing the number of people who could not be better off - meaning the tiny, middle-class elites - and has created ideal conditions for military dictatorships. The dictators were formerly at the service of the plantation owners, but now they protect the new industrial complexes. And finally, you come to help the underdog accept his destiny within this process!
All you will do in a Mexican village is create disorder. At best, you can try to convince Mexican girls that they should marry a young man who is self-made, rich, a consumer, and as disrespectful of tradition as one of you. At worst, in your "community development" spirit you might create just enough problems to get someone shot after your vacation ends_ and you rush back to your middleclass neighborhoods where your friends make jokes about "spits" and "wetbacks."
You start on your task without any training. Even the Peace Corps spends around $10,000 on each corps member to help him adapt to his new environment and to guard him against culture shock. How odd that nobody ever thought about spending money to educate poor Mexicans in order to prevent them from the culture shock of meeting you?
In fact, you cannot even meet the majority which you pretend to serve in Latin America - even if you could speak their language, which most of you cannot. You can only dialogue with those like you - Latin American imitations of the North American middle class. There is no way for you to really meet with the underprivileged, since there is no common ground whatsoever for you to meet on.
Let me explain this statement, and also let me explain why most Latin Americans with whom you might be able to communicate would disagree with me.
Suppose you went to a U.S. ghetto this summer and tried to help the poor there "help themselves." Very soon you would be either spit upon or laughed at. People offended by your pretentiousness would hit or spit. People who understand that your own bad consciences push you to this gesture would laugh condescendingly. Soon you would be made aware of your irrelevance among the poor, of your status as middle-class college students on a summer assignment. You would be roundly rejected, no matter if your skin is white-as most of your faces here are-or brown or black, as a few exceptions who got in here somehow.
Your reports about your work in Mexico, which you so kindly sent me, exude self-complacency. Your reports on past summers prove that you are not even capable of understanding that your dogooding in a Mexican village is even less relevant than it would be in a U.S. ghetto. Not only is there a gulf between what you have and what others have which is much greater than the one existing between you and the poor in your own country, but there is also a gulf between what you feel and what the Mexican people feel that is incomparably greater. This gulf is so great that in a Mexican village you, as White Americans (or cultural white Americans) can imagine yourselves exactly the way a white preacher saw himself when he offered his life preaching to the black slaves on a plantation in Alabama. The fact that you live in huts and eat tortillas for a few weeks renders your well-intentioned group only a bit more picturesque.
The only people with whom you can hope to communicate with are some members of the middle class. And here please remember that I said "some" -by which I mean a tiny elite in Latin America.
You come from a country which industrialized early and which succeeded in incorporating the great majority of its citizens into the middle classes. It is no social distinction in the U.S. to have graduated from the second year of college. Indeed, most Americans now do. Anybody in this country who did not finish high school is considered underprivileged.
In Latin America the situation is quite different: 75% of all people drop out of school before they reach the sixth grade. Thus, people who have finished high school are members of a tiny minority. Then, a minority of that minority goes on for university training. It is only among these people that you will find your educational equals.
At the same time, a middle class in the United States is the majority. In Mexico, it is a tiny elite. Seven years ago your country began and financed a so-called "Alliance for Progress." This was an "Alliance" for the "Progress" of the middle class elites. Now. it is among the members of this middle class that you will find a few people who are willing to send their time with you_ And they are overwhelmingly those "nice kids" who would also like to soothe their troubled consciences by "doing something nice for the promotion of the poor Indians." Of course, when you and your middleclass Mexican counterparts meet, you will be told that you are doing something valuable, that you are "sacrificing" to help others.
And it will be the foreign priest who will especially confirm your self-image for you. After all, his livelihood and sense of purpose depends on his firm belief in a year-round mission which is of the same type as your summer vacation-mission.
There exists the argument that some returned volunteers have gained insight into the damage they have done to others - and thus become more mature people. Yet it is less frequently stated that most of them are ridiculously proud of their "summer sacrifices." Perhaps there is also something to the argument that young men should be promiscuous for awhile in order to find out that sexual love is most beautiful in a monogamous relationship. Or that the best way to leave LSD alone is to try it for awhile -or even that the best way of understanding that your help in the ghetto is neither needed nor wanted is to try, and fail. I do not agree with this argument. The damage which volunteers do willy-nilly is too high a price for the belated insight that they shouldn't have been volunteers in the first place.
If you have any sense of responsibility at all, stay with your riots here at home. Work for the coming elections: You will know what you are doing, why you are doing it, and how to communicate with those to whom you speak. And you will know when you fail. If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go to hell. It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you are so linguistically deaf and dumb that you don't even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you. And it is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as "good," a "sacrifice" and "help."
I am here to suggest that you voluntarily renounce exercising the power which being an American gives you. I am here to entreat you to freely, consciously and humbly give up the legal right you have to impose your benevolence on Mexico. I am here to challenge you to recognize your inability, your powerlessness and your incapacity to do the "good" which you intended to do.
I am here to entreat you to use your money, your status and your education to travel in Latin America. Come to look, come to climb our mountains, to enjoy our flowers. Come to study. But do not come to help.
Ivan Illich is the author of Deschooling Society and other provocative books. Thanks to Nick Royal, Tim Stanton, and Steve Babb for helping to find this speech.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
by Ann Landi
In year-end summaries of the best and worst in art, a number of prominent critics predicted that the economic nosedive could be a good thing for the art world at large—“a vital correction,” in the words of one, for an age of excess, and an opportunity for new talent and creativity to rise from the ashes of an overheated market. Some predicted that 2009 could be 1989 all over again, with vital energy surging through new exhibition spaces even as many galleries are forced to close.
After the great bust of 1989–90, a number of trends emerged that had been overshadowed during the go-go Reagan years, when Neo-this and Neo-that seemed to command a disproportionate share of attention from collectors and the press. The early ’90s, perhaps culminating in the infamous 1993 Whitney Biennial, saw the rise of new forms of art that focused on identity and gender, on spirituality and multiculturalism, and on ephemeral or unpredictable materials. All of it looked like a gigantic smack in the face to the supposed triumphant return of figurative and expressionist painting in the ‘80s.
“Difficult times bring out the best in the best artists,” says David Ross, who was director of the Whitney Museum during that biennial and is now director of Albion New York, a SoHo affiliate of the London gallery. “When the economy falters, there can be a remarkable growth of seriousness in art.” But others see the notion of an art-market meltdown leading to new forms of creativity as specious hogwash. “I’d say the bohemian fantasy is sweet and sentimental, but rather insulting to artists,” says Christopher Knight, art critic for the Los Angeles Times. “In my experience, artists do what they do, market or no market. During the ‘80s boom, terrific work was being made by artists who barely got the time of day, and some of them were artists we simply started to look at in the ‘90s as the dust settled from the crash. That will happen again.”
Some stress that hard times are bad for everyone, but especially for young artists. “You sometimes need five to seven years to learn your craft, to pull it together, and you live off the crumbs of a vigorous market,” says painter Alex Katz. “When the market closes down, the crumbs disappear and a lot of artists are pretty much destroyed or really seriously hampered.” John Ravenal, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, cites the financial meltdown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as a disturbing sign. “The recent spectacle of one of our nation’s major museums almost going under, as if cultural institutions were like corporations, was a sobering reminder that ultimately it’s a romantic fantasy that economic hardship will benefit the art world.”
As works that would have fetched high prices at auction a year ago remain unsold, galleries lay off staff, and museums cut programming, some still see tough times, at the very least, as an opportunity to have a new kind of dialogue about art. “I think we’re finally entering the 21st century in an entirely different way,” says RoseLee Goldberg, director of the performance-art biennial Performa. “We’re asking: What is the role of art? What is its capacity to introduce a new humanism or a new esthetics? The kind of art we’ve been looking at for the past ten years is incredibly sophisticated, but it’s really been driven by a loaded market.”
Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, believes that once money is no longer part and parcel of the esthetic discourse—as in, “That painting sold for how much?”—works will be “seen and debated and discussed among curators, critics, collectors, and dealers, but on a more even playing field.” He adds, “There’s a clarity about seeing art now, contemporary art in particular, that just didn’t exist in a red-hot market.”
The very nature of the way artists are perceived changes when the price tags cease to be that important. “In a downturn, artists are no longer validated according to their market value,” says Mary Sabbatino, vice president of Galerie Lelong in New York. “You’ll have an end to the quote-unquote critical description of Marlene Dumas, for example, as the most expensive living female artist.”
Others believe that the recent era of excess had a positive side. “This last decade has seen, with all this influx of money, an enormous increase of interest in and knowledge about contemporary art,” says Tom Eccles, executive director of the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Eccles, who began his career in London at the same time as many of the so-called Young British Artists, notes that Tate Modern grew out of an explosion of curiosity about the works of artists like Rachel White-read, Sarah Lucas, Douglas Gordon, and even Damien Hirst. “There have been some real gains,” he adds. “Contemporary art has really become much more a part of our knowledge bank, participating in culture in a way that it never did 20 years ago.”
But no matter how keen the appetite for the new, a downturn inevitably means that art will be seen and exhibited in different ways. If galleries close and museums lose some of their funding, artists will have to seek out ever-more inventive venues. The founding in 1971 of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center as an edgy alternative space, notes Tom Finkelpearl, director of the Queens Museum of Art, “was based on a terrible economic situation in New York City. There were big empty buildings available because businesses had closed throughout the city. Those kinds of resources could become available again.” The art-fair boom of the last few years saw its genesis in a few rooms in New York’s Gramercy Park Hotel in the early ’90s, several observers noted.
Others worry about what will happen to the alternative spaces that already do exist. “What does this economy mean for White Columns or Artists Space or places that got their funding from the sort of foundations that lost a fortune?” asks Jon Kessler, a professor of art at Columbia University. “It’s kind of a bubonic plague that’s going to tear through the art world. Something will emerge on the other side, but it’s hard to say what that is.”
Most predict a scaling back of the sprawling, celebrity-studded art fairs that have mushroomed around the globe and a subsequent shakeout among artists who have depended on those events. “A lot of artists have been producing work just for art fairs,” says Eccles. “And I know a number who made quite a good livelihood that way.” Irving Sandler, the scholar and critic who witnessed and chronicled the rise of American art in the ’50s and ’60s, believes that artists will “begin to create their own institutions, if you want to call them that. Artists will get together and think of fending for themselves, and this is happening right now. My sense is that they are considering the collective situation, just as we did in the ’50s with the Artists’ Club and the Cedar Street Tavern.”
We may see a change, too, in the way art is produced, which will of necessity be reflected in the character and materials of the art object. “You’ll probably see less video- and film-based work because of the kind of production standards that artists have demanded and the kind of financing they need,” predicts Eccles. Work that requires an atelier worthy of a Renaissance master could also fall by the wayside. “What we’ve seen in the last few years is a lot of art with high-production values, expensive and very sophisticated studio or out-of-studio production,” says Gary Garrels, senior curator of painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. “There’s been a kind of celebration of lavishness and monumentality and very eye-catching work.” Harry Philbrick, director of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, adds, “Artists who could count six months or a year ago on projects being subsidized by museums, dealers, or collectors are suddenly finding that they will have to trim that budget, and that may mean choosing less-costly materials or scaling back projects.” And artists themselves are foreseeing changes in the way they work. “I’m finally getting around to working my way through all the materials that I already have in my studio, which is a lot of fun,” says Ellen Harvey. “In general, I’m trying to think of projects that are less expensive to make, and that’s fine. Expensive is not necessarily better, anyway.”
“I’m seeing incredible, great work made out of nothing, nothing,” sculptor Petah Coyne says of a recent visit to a show of M.F.A. candidates at the School of Visual Arts in New York. That’s an esthetic that’s not particularly new and might be said to go all the way back to early Cubist collages and Kurt Schwitters’s Merz, finding its latest incarnation in the low-rent assemblages of last year’s “Unmonumental” show at the New Museum. Govan doesn’t believe that artists who want and need certain materials will cut corners. “There are so many stories of Picasso, when he had not a nickel, buying the most expensive cerulean blue, the most costly pigments for his paintings,” he notes.
As for decisive shifts in sensibility or esthetics, it seems far too soon to say what the art of the coming years will look like or to predict what thought processes may underlie its making. Garrels believes that the choice of Bruce Nauman to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale this year is a portent, and some say Venice itself will offer a reflection of the times. “We’re going to see a shift toward work that’s more psychological and introspective and more out of an old-fashioned studio kind of work,” Garrels comments. “It will have to be a much more sober biennale this time around,” says Carlos Basualdo, curator of contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and cocurator of the U.S. Pavilion. Garrels, too, sees “a return to work that is a little more personal and exploratory. A good example of an artist who really came to represent that shift in the moment, from the late ’80s to the early ’90s, would be Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Again, you had thoughtful art with low production values. Felix was an artist who came to the fore right after the last collapse of the market, and I would not be surprised to see something parallel happen now.”
“People who travel light and do things that are contrary and ephemeral are going to have a good moment,” says Robert Storr, dean of the Yale University School of Art. Storr also notes that the last decade has seen surprisingly little political activity among artists, and virtually no politically inspired art, in spite of eight years of governance that has led to an unpopular war and a staggering deficit. “People talked revolution but didn’t do it,” he says. “If I could spot a change, it would be at the point where artists start to think outside the politics of the art world, or outside the academic discourses, and look around and ask, what’s going on here? This is an area where somebody with an idea and enough anger could have an effect.”
Like the rest of the economy, the cultural world has lived through cycles of boom and bust since the first serious museums and dealers opened their doors in the middle of the 19th century. It’s still too early to say what will happen in the coming year or two, but the one certainty is a curiously reassuring uncertainty. “Artists are basically problem solvers,” says Bonnie Clearwater, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. “They will respond to whatever the situation is in completely unpredictable ways.”
Ann Landi is a contributing editor of ARTnews.
curated by Suzi Gablik
Sacred Wild will examine the way contemporary artists are drawn to sacred images and are using them in their everyday life. The six artists, based in Iowa, Virginia, and Illinois, incorporate or address the trend towards investigating one's personal spirituality over organized religious thought.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Makes me so proud.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A purchase by Gagosian Gallery of $3 million in gold blocks for an upcoming exhibit has been frozen because they were bought from a company owned by accused swindler Allen Stanford, court papers filed Friday showed.
Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Texas billionaire Allen Stanford, two associates and three of his companies with "massive, ongoing fraud." The commission got a temporary order to freeze Stanford's assets.The Gagosian Gallery, which has galleries in New York, Beverly Hills, London and Rome, said it had been unfairly ensnared in the litigation.
In January, Gagosian bought 100 1-kg (2.2-lb) gold bars, from Stanford Coins & Bullion, a subsidiary of another Stanford company.The parties agreed the money would be wired to Stanford Coins and then transferred to the Dillon Gage Group, an unrelated dealer of rare coins and metals, according to Gagosian's court papers.
But the dealers have refused to send the gold to Gagosian, citing the order to freeze Stanford's assets. In court papers, Gagosian argued the gold was not bought "in connection with any type of investment account, but rather represents a straightforward spot purchase of a tangible commodity."
And: My first mention on artnet.com--->