This Saturday, I will be participating in the boro-wide open studio event in Brooklyn from 11 am to 7 pm. I will be presenting my ongoing performance, Be A Rebel Or Just Look Like One as part of my collaboration with the project, Battle Pass. Click here for all the details.
My fellow collaborators include Sasha Chavchavadze, Eva Melas and Paul Benney.
The open studio event is both days on the weekend but I will only be presenting my piece in person on Saturday. There will be a small installation of based on the performance on view on Sunday (and in the studio through the end of September).
Please join us!
The studio is in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn and there are nine other artists participating in this building alone - there are over 1,000 participating in all. While I am excited that there will be so much to see this weekend, and I am thrilled to be able to present my piece and work with the other artists, I do object to one aspect of this event, which was created by The Brooklyn Museum.
Their idea is to have visitors vote on their favourite studio and the artist(s) with the most votes will have their work presented at the Museum. I hate this idea. Please allow me to say it again: I hate this idea so very, very much. It taps into the very worst of what the art world has to offer, pitting artist against artist in the most meaningless kind of competition. And worse, the Museum is marketing it as being "community-driven". Bullshit! It is just another example of modeling art after cut-throat, "let the market decide" capitalism. Our studio is ignoring the whole, vile voting business. Hear that Brooklyn Museum? Don't Vote! And you can tell 'em I said so!
While I am on the subject, I also have come loathe this whole Kickstarter campaign thing. If you have not heard of it, it is an online site where everyone and their Aunt Betty can raise funds for their creative project. Beyond the fact that now artists are supposed to shill for money from their family and friends, it signals (to me) our collective end to any notion that art should be supported by the community through public funds. Because, you know, art is business and artists should be more business-like.
You know what?
Of course in a country where we let people die before we would offer them access to healthcare, we close libraries because they are "too expensive" yet have limitless dollars to kill people, destroy resources and annihilate cultures in pointless, endless wars, in a country like this, telling artists to suck it up and raise your own damn money is really not surprising. But why do the bad guys always get to win? There is such a narrowness, a stinginess to the vision of who we might be as society....why can't the big, generous ideas take hold (again)?
Come visit me in Brooklyn. Make a cockade. Be A Rebel...if only for a moment.