Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Q:  The "service economy of art"?

A:  I didn't enjoy being an employee, writing reviews quickly on commission, any more than I enjoyed typing and filing at the VAG.

I'm not a naturally facile writer, and the reviews took a lot of effort.  It was disappointing, to say the least, to identify an aspect of an artist's practice which they would then, perhaps deliberately, suppress or eliminate from their practice as soon as the review appeared.  Their prerogative, sure, but I didn't like the implication that what I found valuable and interesting in their work was (for them) expendable and passé.

Or: the emerging superstar who phoned one day in a panic.  Video rough-cut, major doubts, just a quick look, please, ASAP?  "I don't feel comfortable showing this to anyone else."  An afternoon out of the bookstore, a long time spent looking, thinking and talking.  Then bumping, in the lobby, into various representatives of the local artist-run scene, the next appointments waiting to go up.  Fool me once. . . .

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