cARTographies – A Postscript

In yesterday’s post, I quoted from the Annulus website about the cARTographies exhibition at St Martins in the Field in Trafalgar Square. I’d forgotten that I’d taken a shot of the display poster, which was headed ‘Why’, at the exhibition which gives more information about the ideas behind the show. There’s not too much bovine doodoo!

“For ‘cARTographies’ Annulus has invited eight artists to help them readdress the balance between viewer, curator and artist participation in art culture. By seeking to open a dialogue and redefine its artwork outside of the fiscal-commodity culture, which treats creative projects as monetary chips to be stored and sold in accord with inflation in public interest, we are trying to put the focus back on the dynamic nature of the art itself through the medium of cartographies. By toying with subjective viewer participation in the form of miniature post-it artwork, we hope to deconstruct existing concepts intrinsic to the classification of arts values.

“The Art Market. This exhibition is an alternative to the current capitalist economy within art. There have been numerous art projects and collaborations over the years. Ironically the commercial art market seems to bean exaggerated example of this as highlighted by Damien Hirst’s ‘For the Love of God’. It is the fetishisation of the product that is often the core aspect of this critique. Today an artist’s worth is valued and measured by the market value of their artwork. Dealers motivated by financial gain determine that fiscal value, not their artistic validity. This results in the artwork being reduced to a commodity for trading. By paying £8 to remove a post-it-note, your participation helps to propose a solution and develop a community where other solutions can be discussed. If this works, it will not only give more people the chance to own artwork, but more artists will also be able to live off their practice.

“Art. One can consider ‘cARTographies’ as an experimental exploration by Annulus. After the viewer has decided to participate, the artists create a piece of artwork on the post-it-note and ask the participant to think of the title. This plays with relationships between artist, viewer and curator. Aspects of the conceptual elements provide the driving force behind a manipulation of the aesthetics, drawing to light a dynamic interpolation. Accordingly, the concept relies upon the aesthetic occurrence created by the artist’s and the viewer’s participation in the project, and vice versa.

“Cartography. Maps, arguably more than any other aesthetic object, have always been subject to the socio-economic surroundings in which they are born. As an aesthetic object, maps are reflective of more than geographical realities but rather subliminally translate the intentions of the mapmaker to represent the patron of the map and the social, economic and cultural factors that give it meaning.

“The power of the mapmaker is to redraw the world not just from his own biased perspective but also to promote the interests of the wealthy and powerful sponsors, which patronised these works of art. Topographical and geographical realities have been knowingly and persistently overlooked in place of a political or social commentary that the mapmaker wishes to project.

“By uploading your drawing onto the map and mapping every single artwork and participant, this exhibition utilises the internet, affording the artist’s interpretations of the world map a presence beyond the gallery space.”

It’s interesting to read the first part of this article (the money bit) alongside this article about the fixing of prices for artworks by dealers.


About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website
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