Sometimes it’s worth asking the questions that are so big people people only raise them shortly before last orders. Kudos to Art 21 | blog who have been running a series of what they call “Flash Points” over the last few months. Their topics have included What’s So Shocking About Contemporary Art? and How Can Art Affect Political Change?
They’ve just started a new strand with What Is The Value of Art, introduced by Beth Allen:
The questions of how art is valued and how it is monetized inevitably overlap: artworks perceived as “important” yield high prices at auction; economic development funding goes to out-of-the-way cultural institutions that bring high quality programming and consequently, tourists, to their neighborhoods; exhibitions that push boundaries attract grants from foundations dedicated to promoting free speech; arts education is consistently underfunded… Buried within questions about the economics of art, are assumptions and often, judgments, about its value that beg to be examined: How is the value of an artist’s intellectual versus physical labor calculated? Are collectible works valued differently than ephemeral projects? How does individual “taste” and critical reception affect the value of an artwork, exhibition, or institution? What factors influence the way we value an artistic experience, as individuals and as a society? How do we quantify the intangible benefits that art education provides? How do we talk about the subtle and personal value that art has in our lives?
And, of course, they’re looking for contributors to stir the pot.
Image: Photo of Fear Eats The Soul [date unknown] by Rirkrit Tiravanija taken at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, November 22 2008 by j-No