Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pie in the Sky When You Die
Thomas Miccelli at Hyperallergic magazine

Thomas Miccelli's article (linked above) proposes that performance works are more highly valued than art objects, as the embodied encounter of a performer and audience member carries more psychic weight/exchange value than the art object's presence. This is one of many issues raised in the article, the result of a recent survey of artists and their earnings conducted by artist William Powhida.

It's no myth artists make art for the pure love of it; that's what keeps an artist working. Yet, there is a perception that support wouldn't, or perhaps shouldn't matter, as the artist would keep working. It's also no myth that without support it does become more difficult for an artist to continue. This is where the day job comes in, or whatever strategies the artist adopts to survive. The issue of sustenance, from Rubens' business acumen to Van Gogh's reliance on his brother, proposes an interesting discussion on the value of art and artists now.

A Dangerous Method, Cronenberg's recent film on Freud and Jung, recaptures the modernist ideal of an individual practitioner (Freud) who passes the torch of tradition to his metaphoric son, Jung. Their analysands bore witness in a reciprocal, if uneven, relationship. Does the advent of technology--film, gaming, performance, collectives, with their democratic ability to engage large groups of people as participants, alter the value of privileged, one-on-one communication and art objects? 

Enjoy the read!

1 comment:

Ipainter said...

Good article. I see a few topics that underlie these issues: values and education. In summary:
• Our society’s main concern is about money, which then helps set our core values.
• For the vast majority of Americans, artistic values are set by images that are heavily promoted in the media.
• Americans in general have virtually no education in the visual arts in schools at all levels.
• They equate art with the image and do not care about the art object itself.
• The 2% who can afford good art and are somewhat knowledgeable often buy the art for its monetary worth and trophy status.
• The 0.1% who deeply appreciate fine art are the ones who have been educated formally or are self taught because of a strong personal interest in art.
• Nothing much has changed in the demand for fine art since the Renaissance.
Well, this monk is going to back to his cell and work.