Monday, March 7, 2011

Ramblings on : Art Fairs

It was just art fair week, well Armory week, in New York City. The first week of March is festooned with more art being stuffed into this town then even thought possible. The big one is The Armory Show, on the piers, then there is the ADAA’s The Art Show at an actual armory, and then there is Independent in the old DIA Chelsea and then there is everything else. This is the way it is. All other fairs get over it. I totally dislike but totally get why art fairs are in existence. For those who press their frowned lips and finger point at art fairs, they are just being oh so very collegiate in their understandings about the world. Baby, money makes this big ball called earth go round. But also, for those who think that art fairs are the best and most tactical things, blah to you too.


Art fairs are like Target stores; bright, big, organized, repetitive, weird foods smells mixed with weird smell smells, and let’s not forget the strollers. They are unpleasant to be in but also a place one must go since we all like to walk down the runway of culture and see and be seen. I think this impulse is also why people get gussied up for church; to see and be seen, to be “a part” of something bigger then yourself without the obvious vanities. Art fairs will be around for a long time so stop fussing over it and also stop trying to re-invent it. There is nothing more annoying then to use the rhetoric and philosophies of empowerment and revolution in application for art fairs. STOP DOING THIS! Yes they are boring as hell and they are full of bullies and meanies but what do you expect? The art world is this way, life is this way.


Independent started by Elizabeth Dee and what’s his name from Hotel in London last year is the alterna darling of the art fairs in NYC. Last year it was cool, this year it was cooler. Cool-cool and super-cool are all civilly chilling out in a room together. It is all like wallpaper in a way but there’s no denying that it’s cool. Trends spotted; 16mm films (there were six or so of these), canvas sculptures, ceramics. If Ms. Dee knocked on my door and was like “hey you wanna do this thing” I would be like “HELL YES” cause to do it is to be tapped with the golden finger of hip (for now).


There was a small thing at the Sheraton Hotel called Dependant with a handful of galleries and collective like things. It was only one night and for only a few hours. There was a massive line, I cut without much planning, and then voila 14 flights up and you get to be crammed in an insufferably tight hallway with artists, art handlers and their pals. It was like band camp trips but less possibility of sex and more smell of beer/stale cigarettes. It was okay. It was something that I guess is something to do. Sometimes things like that make me really happy. This time it made me feel like time is stuck in an oscillating doorframe, one side shit, the other side fucked.


Art fairs…It’s fun in Miami, it’s fun in rich European places, it may even be fun in glassed in Abu Dhabi but in New York it isn’t fun, it isn’t necessary, it isn’t relevant. I think that the art world and the fashion world should just agree to have Armory week and Fashion week be at the same time. The crowds, the intention, everything about both overlaps and is a mirror of its selves, so why not? It would save time, energy and the mental power that is sucked away from the required self-lobotomy of being everywhere, seeing everything, the parties, the private events, the this and the that. All the endless beautiful spectacle and absurdity that makes art oh so very hideous and also the most wonderful thing to be a part of.