POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
Image via: Winkleman
Art Publisher Barry Hoggard doesn’t get a chance to blog too much now that he’s running ArtCat, Culture Pundits and Idiom full time. These projects make up a critical part of the art blogosphere, but his rant at Winkleman’s closing of #CLASS two weeks ago reminded me how much I miss his own regular commentary on Bloggy. For those who missed the show, artists Jen Dalton and William Powhida used the interwebs to put together one month’s worth of performances, events and lectures (see Sharon Butler The Huffington Post) and then tweeted and ustreamed the fuck out of it.
I asked Barry Hoggard if I could republish the complaints he produced for Dalton and Powhida’s last class appropriately titled Rant Night because I thought it was a perfect example of what I liked about the exhibition (disclaimer I attended only two classes and followed the twitter stream). It prompted people who spend most of their time contributing to art community in some way other than talking to share a few of their more valuable ideas. Hoggard’s are worth a bit of contemplation.
- [vis-Ã -vis #CLASS] I got tired of seeing tweets and comments on the ustream feed about the quality of the video, quality of the sound, lack of archiving, and lack of interaction. I’m a tech guy who watches a lot of online presentations, and the people involved did their best to engage a larger audience, including letting people on panels know about questions from people watching online. I’ve seen much worse engagement from commercial organizations without the shoestring budget under which #class operated.
- I also got REALLY tired of people bitching online about how William Powhida isn’t outsider enough now that he has gotten some press, even though he still has a day-job teaching in Bushwick. Also, the idea that Winkleman Gallery is somehow part of the big Chelsea establishment just like Gagosian enrages me. Galleries like Edward’s bring us new artists we haven’t seen before, and take big risks, while people like Gagosian poach artists from galleries that developed their careers before they had an already established market for him to exploit.
- People also bitched online about critics like Jerry Saltz, as if he is some kind of major power center for the art world. Get real people! If you want to be angry about how the art world is a big game controlled by a tiny group of people for their own benefit, go after the museum trustees and the oligarchs and the hedge fund people manipulating the markets for a very small group of artists (generally with expensive work). Turning your anger on the likes of Powhida, Winkleman, and all of those “New York art people” indiscriminately is stupid. Try making some suggestions about how to improve the opportunities for a larger group of artists in and out of New York instead, and think about how we make this a more democratic system.
- I get really tired of people reacting to the New Museum Koons/Joannou show with “Isn’t that the way all of the art world works?” Then why the fuck do you even get up in the morning? Is that what you teach your kids, or younger people just starting out in the world? “Don’t ever bother to care about anything, since you have no control over your life or your destiny anyway?” It is most certainly not the way the artists and writers and other parts of the art world I am lucky enough to engage work.