Field trip 3 Art & Dialogue
It was raining lightly, but just enough to make us wish we were inside a cafe drinking coffee over a conversation about art. Leena, Philip and myself were out on the street looking for such a cafe, and also an art gallery to accomplish the goal of the field trip that afternoon. We stumbled upon a gallery before a cafe. One of the employees was assembling an IKEA cupboard with the distinctive uni-lingual cartoon instructions sheets. Nevertheless we were welcomed to have a look.
‘We have just come back from the art fair.’, the owner told us proudly.
We walked around the small gallery freely looking at the few works on the wall.
‘We sell better at the fair than in the gallery,’ the owner continued to tell us. When Philip inquired about a specific art work, the owner told us she also has a Russian in stock. That seemed convenient for the Russians, and it also gave us an indication that art for this gallery is a product of commerce.
Placing a value on art, whether it comes from a particular country, or with a certain price, and where the artist stands in the negotiations is not for an open discussion. Previously that morning we were discussing Art and Dialogue in the underground basement of the Russian Team Room gallery. Valerie Kabov’s (course coordinator) returned on the subject, what is art? Philosophers have characterized art in terms of mimesis “to imitate”, expression, communication of emotion ( this all crudely summed up). The artist expresses his/her emotion through a medium that is readily available (paint, stone, film, paper, 3d printers, recycled material).
As an art viewer I can experience what the artist expresses or feel the emotions the art piece triggers.
Although most people can follow the arts up till the impressionists, after that they lose it and abandon modern and contemporary art. But we need to remind people that even contemporary art can still be viewed with the question: what emotions does the art piece trigger in me, and why?
We tend to confuse the matter, the artists, media, galleries, curators, politicians, all alike we all want our power piece. Recently, while the artists lay asleep in bed, politicians changed the status of the artist into a segment of the creative industry. In the Netherlands it has become a steady fact. Artists that are not selling enough art work, that are not creating webpage designs, that are not creating IKEA (or other) furniture, that are not making apps are expelled from the city council art groups. Art studio rents have gone up to creative industry prices and new standards have been put in place.
Example: artist studio for rent, clean workers only. (In other words, no painters or sculptors, only people that work behind a laptop.)
In our group of 6 we found that the ”Creative industries” has struck artists in UK, France, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe. I think there are many more.
As a conclusion, we constantly need to educate people about art and give it a value as part of our human existence.