Robert Storr, in an affadavit written on behalf of Christoph Buchel -
“In my view, under no circumstance should a work of art be shown to the public until the artist has determined that it is finished."
Donn Zaretsky -
“This case presents questions of considerable significance in the art world: Does someone other than the visual artist have the right to decide when that artist’s work is finished or otherwise in a state suitable to be shown to the public?"
Makes me wonder about the Felix Gonzalez-Torres pools that are currently showing at the Venice Biennale. Isn't Storr the Artistic Director?
Gonzalez-Torres died in 1996, before he was ever able to realize the piece... but leaving five sketches for different versions of a work based on various proposal sites. Curator Nancy Spector suggested the piece for Venice 2007 - as "a never-before-realized sculpture"... "a new work, made from a drawing by Mr. Gonzalez-Torres but unrealized in his lifetime" - and made all fabrication and installation decisions.
Christopher Knight -
"Would Gonzalez-Torres choose Carrara marble for this location? Would he alter the pools' dimensions to accommodate this site? Would he display them on brick paving? Would he consider the work site-specific and destroy it after the show?" - It sold.
Blake Gopnik -
"Spector, for instance, has realized the reflecting pools, sketched out by Gonzalez-Torres as needing to be made in "local stone," in cliched white Carrara marble, from quarries hundreds of miles south of Venice. Gonzalez-Torres might have preferred the rose-colored stone, from nearby Verona, that the Venetian empire used for its most showy buildings."
This, the Buchel/MassMoca thing, is all so tangly. Way over my head, and I can barely stand most of them really (especially Sergio). BUT, fascinating... and I have to wonder, reading Storr's affadavit, how that squares with his view of the Gonzalez-Torres(?) sculpture, at the Biennale of which he is Artistic Director.
more from Robert Storr's affadavit -
"In sum, should a presentation be made at the sole discretion of a sponsoring institution, it not only runs counter to the interests of the artist but also to those of the public. Indeed that public is ill-served by the assumption that it will be satisfied by the experience of aesthetically incomplete works while its larger understanding of and sympathy for intrinsically challenging works of contemporary art may in the long term be substantially harmed by the confusion that inevitably arise from being confronted with works that have yet to be fully realized or resolved."
(funniest part in the affadavits - Buchel refers to the museum as Mass Coma. Ouch, that could stick)