Quick Link Thursday
Joanne Mattera has stirred a fair bit of commentary in her most recent Marketing Mondays post in which she declares her days of writing recommendation letters for grants and residencies applicants are over:
I just received my third request this month to write a letter of reference. One was for a very talented young artist, another was for a colleague who has a full-time teaching position (and thus more salaried time off via sabbaticals and vacations than I will ever have), and the third was from someone who likes my blog and thinks I'd write "a kick-ass reference letter," never mind that I don’t know this person from Eve.Artforum.com reports that a recent law in the EU will essentially censor a wide range of artworks made from lightbulbs:
With the exception of the young artist, my response was a polite No.
For living artists who are able to reconstruct/reconsider their work this is still pretty horrendous, but to be quite honest, it's the EU's loss (and a significant one at that in my opinion) that they've now essentially outlawed the exhibition of works like Untitled (North), 1993 (how freaking moronic, really?).
Come September 1, the European Union has banned the sale of traditional lightbulbs with a glowing filament. As the Süddeutsche Zeitung’s Till Briegleb reports, the ban will have an impact on art, specifically works that use lightbulbs for either functional, aesthetic, or historical effects. A case in point is the work of the Russian artist Ilya Kabakov, who often hangs a bare lightbulb in his installations as a melancholic homage to the Soviet-era ideal of electricity, which was not always available to the citizens.
“Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to [the law] 2005/32/EG” writes Briegleb. “And thus artists, restorers, and museum technicians find themselves faced with the bizarre necessity of small-time criminality.” Kabakov is not the only artist to use bulbs. There are 140 in Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s Light-Space-Modulator; the German post–Word War II “Zero” Group was fond of lightbulbs. There’s a host of contemporary artists, including Olafur Eliasson, Carsten Höller, Jorge Pardo, Valie Export, Stephan Huber, Isa Genzken, Mike Kelley, and Adrian Paci. Even artists who did not work explicitly with lightbulbs have used them: Rauschenberg, Kienholz, Tinguely, and Beuys.
As Briegleb notes, the illegal sale of lightbulbs—even to museums—comes with a hefty fine: $70,000. Even if the existing bulbs could be saved, it’s clear that the supply will eventually be exhausted. To keep a lightbulb work by Felix Gonzalez-Torres or Höller shining bright, museums and collectors will need more than one thousand bulbs, since the traditional ones tend to last on average sixty to eighty days under the kind of constant use that is typical for such installations.
Brandeis University is being sued by the Rose Art Museum Board, if you haven't heard. Art Fag City has the lowdown:
The wait is over. Yesterday, the Rose Art Museum trustees filed a suit in Massachusetts State Court to halt closure of Brandeis University’s museum and the sale of masterpieces by Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg. The move had been expected for some time. In January, the university announced it would shutter the museum, but after a deafening public outcry, the administration sent out an array of different messages, including most recently that the museum would not be closing, but rather transitioned into an education center. The museum’s Board of Overseers weren’t buying it, and said as much back in April. How can a museum function with no director, no curator, no education director, no administrator, no funding stream and no exhibition program, they asked? The university’s failure to sufficiently answer these and other questions prompted the suit.And Felix Salmon, who's usually quite astute about such matters, misses the fact that rent is hardly the only overhead a gallery has in assessing what a Chelsea gallerist who recently closed was "making a year." A commenter clarified:
$10,000 a month in rent is not the only expense a gallery in Chelsea may incur (or any gallery in the country, for that matter.) Please include at least another 40% to 80% of her net devoted to health insurance, marketing, staff, utilities, packaging, shipping, materials, events, travel, entertaining, etc. The costs of doing business as a gallery are tremendous and even the most frugal gallerist/owner still comes out of it with less than you might imagine.
Labels: quick notes of news