Tuesday, March 18, 2008

At The Guardian, Adrian Searle asks if big money has replaced the critic in the art world.
He has been on panels all over the world discussing the fact that people with money, rather than those who have the education and the experience, are determining the direction of the market and the making of art stars.

Says Searle of the panels he participates in:
"People blame all the money sluicing round the art world. They blame the internet and the rise of the blogger. They blame the dumbing-down of newspapers and the replacement of criticism with the sparkling, if vapid, preview featurette, and the artist-as-celebrity photo opportunity profile. Who cares about the art or the concepts? They're just the MacGuffin. Tell us about the parties, the openings, the drugs and the dresses. Artists are creative, and creative is sexy and good. Critics are a comedown. Some have hair sprouting from their ears. They're always complaining; they're untrustworthy; they're full of hate and spite and they make everything all so complicated, when all we're really trying to do is sell a lifestyle. Fuck 'em."

It is an encouraging article, despite the cynical quote. Many people hope that, as the market slows down, other aspects of the art world as we know it will change. Mr. Searle suggests that, like artists, critics need to trudge on, doing what they do, not wasting time to measure our immediate effect upon the art world.


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