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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Where's the Beef?

Here's Tyler explaining yesterday about how academics don't really have any power in contemporary art -

"within the context of contemporary art - - or even recent art such as Flavin's - - they just don't matter. Collectors and gallerists have the first impact on new art, then curators and critics who can broaden the audience for that work. Institutions (and more curators) step in next to canonize the work, and only then do academic theorizers get a shot."

Anyone notice who's missing? The ones who really don't have any power are the ones not even mentioned... the artists!

I disagree though that institutions and academics don't have any power. If anything they have a disproportionate amount of power. Why else would Tyler spend so much time covering them? And I'm glad he's doing it.

Universities are heavily invested in promoting their own and Tyler might be surprised at the amount of university money paying for Brooklyn/Chelsea gallery receptions and art magazine advertisements. A gallery started by an Acme University graduate filled with artists who are also Acme University graduates, do you really think Acme University doesn't do anything to support and encourage that?

The university ranking system has contributed to many schools making the choice to gut actual programs in favor of the marketing of those programs, and some university administrators will do almost anything to raise and maintain their rankings. Are the rise in importance of a school's ranking and the artworld's concurrent adulation of youth unrelated phenomena? I don't think so!