Tuesday, April 6, 2010

7 days in the Art World

World is a funny word! It means many things to many people and yet it is the same world. I and you live in the one world and yet may mean nothing to each other. Therefore 'one world' and "world apart" makes perfect sense.

So what does 7 days in the art world mean? Talking about the book by Sarah Thornton who attempts to 'explain/experience' the art world in seven chapters. Written in simple lucid English( surprisingly there are no jargon) this 280+ pages book you can read on the move, and in one go. The seven chapters- The Auction, The Crit, The Fair, The Prize, The Magazine, The Studio and The Biennale tries to give you the insider's view of the art world centered primarily around New york and London in case you don't know .

More or less as an artist one does know some of the components this world and yet some of the chapters really open up new vistas to the existing realm. For instance importance of The crit- or collective critique as part of the art education is seriously missing in 'our' part of the art world. Such a student - artist - academician interaction is not only needed but is vital to any aspect of pedagogy. Something you lament for not experiencing it while you were student.

The studio was particularly engaging specially when you know that you may never get to see Takashi Murakami's studio. So when you read that he functions more in boardroom environment than a studio that hardly surprises you. But his bedroom does. Studio visit is an important ritual of the art world that helps promote artist's mind more than his work.Therefore when Murakami with his company Kaikai Kiki functions like an corporate house design company , it only strengthens my argument in my earlier blog.

Author, an art history graduate and doctorate in sociology approaches the art world more like an anthropologist, and writes the account from the 'participant observer's view'. She tries to investigate questions like What is an artist? what is a collectors? what is an auction ? or what does a magazine mean to art world?etc etc. In the bargain she collects some 'smart quotes' from the people who control this world. For instance she observes some collectors having a "plastic approach" to their collection - a sense which relates to the pursuit of youth and to be determined attempt to rejuvenate oneself through ongoing novelties". Or John Baldessari's quip, " you have to make new works to sell the old ones".

Book tries to entertain you and at the same time gives you a peep hole view of the current art world. As you complete reading it you know that the world out there has changed. So is the art world!!

1 comment:

  1. http://goanetblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/through-looking-glass.html