I leave for London on Friday. I am so excited, but at the same time I feel in trepidation, I think I’m about to leave my comfort zone – not that my comfort zone is very big, mind. I am making my curatorial debut with Extra-Ordinary at Core Gallery (the PV is 22nd April), an exhibition I am co-curating with Ros Davis. I am giving my first workshop, How to Talk and Write about Your Work, with Becky Hunter as part of DIY Educate also at Core Gallery. And I am having my first critical review published in WhiteHot Magazine soon. Now I can call myself an artist!
I say that jokingly but it really is no joking matter. As many other bloggers have expressed recently in their blogs, an artist must be multi-talented, not only in the work they produce but in the activity they pursue. There aren’t many professions which require this kind of diversification, but then ask any small business-person and they will tell you there’s no surprise in that. It is true; to be independent requires diversity, flexibility, intelligence and ability – perhaps agility is an even better word.
I read this today in e-flux: ‘But art is not a religion, and, though it often seems structurally similar, it is not a charity either. This idea of a “higher value” that presides over-and indeed fuels-an idea of art labor as free labor must be contested. All are to blame for it: though classical exploitation is rampant, it may actually pale in comparison to the amount of self-exploitation-the willingly inconclusive, highly generative work that is either too useless or too stubborn to ever align itself with the mundane, but remunerated, field of average labor: that of bakers, garbage men, police officers, cobblers, lawyers, engineers, day laborers, and so forth. These are the people you make your work about, and perhaps who your parents are. Art, you would like to think, is a shining vision of a possibility for something else…’ Read the full article here.
I’m encouraged by the rapidly spreading word that artists and cultural producers must be remunerated and the exploitation must stop. I’m encouraged too to read someone lay a chunk of the responsibility on our own shoulders because….no, I’m going to leave that unanswered, I don’t want to stand on the soapbox today – I’m too excited about my trip. But I can answer that and I’m sure you can too.
So back to my trip…