All I Got for Xmas Were Some Difficult Ideas

December 25, 2007

So I finally figured out how to approach the end-of-year show when I finally figured out why I have qualms about it: it seems absurd to sell myself when I’m essentially unmarketable.  Someone I spoke to about this made the incorrect but helpful suggestion that there was no use in protesting the show.  I’m not protesting it, though.  I just don’t understand how, in five months, I’m going to get young and skinny and good-looking and start making maniacally empty work. 

So I’m going to be in the show, but my show is going to be the show.  Two projects in particular:

1) A Field Guide to everyone and everything involved in the show, from who the participants are and where they’ve shown in the past and how much their work sells for to profiles of the curators and galleries involved and what art fairs they go to and where/how they wield their power and influence, plus a convenient implicit ranking/buyer’s guide offering advice on whose careers to follow.  Part of the inequity of the situation is that we all didn’t come into grad school with the same amount of “push” behind us, and grad school doesn’t change that, though everyone would like to think it does.  The field guide will be in foldable color poster form, and will be distributed for free.

2) And if the show is going to be all about commerical vindication and the art market, I’m just going to sell to the customer directly.  I’ll make a few artist books (something I’ve been meaning to do anyway) and put them out with a note to contact me if visitors want to order one.  Cheap, too: nothing over $30.  Plus there will be a portfolio with the same $20 for a high-res jpg as offered here.  It’ll be interesting to see how both whatever tiny gallery I get shoved in and what my fellow students will have to say about all this, but I’m leaning heavily toward “no one will care one way or the other.”

So the image below is from one of the books I’m making, a book called Police Studies that brings together various police-related projects from the past few years into elegant coffee-table book form. 



2 Responses to “All I Got for Xmas Were Some Difficult Ideas”

  1. AdamFeldmeth Says:

    #1 is a great direction to take with this whole situation.

  2. Nicholas Says:

    Yeah, and the fact that I’m worried how everyone involved is going to receive the idea and how it will (cough) affect my “career” says a lot about how dominant the art market is right now (or always?).

    I like idea 2 because it’s like pulling a taco truck up in front of a Del Taco and snaring customers. Sort of.

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