New Yoik blog.
I am back. It was incredibly snowy – they’ve had something like 50 inches this month. I really had the most amazing time and met some great people.
Tha reason I was invited was to take part in a panel for a seminar on artists’ books. This was because my book ‘Unfolding Architecture’ is in an exhibition by Women’s Studio Workshop (the publishers) at the Grolier Club in New York. http://www.grolierclub.org/
This was the most bizarre pairing in many ways – a DIY space set up in 1974 by four women showing in a stuffy (but beautiful) private club for fine book binding. It was also very pink inside. But I felt like this was WSW getting appreciated for the incredible work they’ve been doing over the years. Judging by all the people that came to the seminar, they have many fans.
So I was on the panel, and I managed not to blush or stutter too much. When asked what I had taken with me from my residency at WSW, I replied that their generous funding, support and proper provision for artists during the residency I did had made me really question the conditons that artist often accept. I went on to mention this blog and the fact that I hope to advocate better conditions. This kind of dominated the questions afterwards, further proof for me of how much people want to engage in the discussion around money and value. There were jokes after too, oh careful, she’ll want paying. They were just jokes too, but I always want to stress that it is not just about money, it is about value. They may be linked, but to make sure I get paid is not the point – it is about getting better across the board. It is about how artist are valued in society. The current government couldn’t be doing much more to make the arts appear disposable. Galleries and institutions are used to paying in ‘exposure’ and CV fodder. It is much more than money.
In that vein, on Friday morning I met with the group WAGE in one of their apartments in Brooklyn. Aside from the adorable ‘pocket’, a teeny lap dog, I really enjoyed meeting this incredibly intelligent and active group. I am profiling them in the March issue of a-n so will say more there, but please look at their website. http://www.wageforwork.com/wage.html
I have still to listen back to the transcript as my tax return took precedence today, but I am looking forward to that tomorrow.
The trip has led to several other aquaintences, some have emailed, purchased my book, invited me on visits and one of the artists in the panel interviewed me for her artist’ book website on Thursday. It astounds me how much can happen in a few days and how many connections spring from an event like this. I started a diagram some time ago about how work has led to more work, but it got into a mess beacuse so much crossed over. Maybe I shall try on a smaller scale and see how that looks!
p.s. I’ve just read a great entry about artists from Rosalind Davis (see VALUE above). She says “Use your influence to create change. Dont isolate yourselves. Give back…..be part of something more than yourselves.”