TAKE on art - January - June 2015
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What are the mysterious ways in which the art world works? It is undeniably built upon commercial transactions and consequently the market. The circuit gives the impression that it can easily be mapped by defining networks that include the dealer, galleries, auction houses, collectors and museums. Yet it is not as simple as that. Not merely because the art world in its current form comprises much of non-collectible, site specific and performance art (whose traces have found ways to even be commodified to generate revenue) but also because it is a complex system that encompasses commissioning, funding, production, labour, specialised-labour, conservation, presentation, lighting, display, travel, documentation, archiving, criticism and curation that escapes the traditional channels that commodities that can be owned traverse. The ways in which art can be marketed does not reduce itself to billboards, commercials or advertorials - the idea itself seems absurd. Auction houses, galleries and art fairs probably indicate a straightforward economy, but throw in the proliferation of biennales, foundations, residencies, and funding agencies, and the possibility that one work can simultaneously access all these spaces, we have an alphabet soup, not a sure shot formula of demand and supply.
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