Blog: Can This Possibly Be A Shift In How We Can Think About Art?

Christine Alfery

Posted on June 14 2021

Blog: Can This Possibly Be A Shift In How We Can Think About Art?

Featured image: Two Pears

Why do we have art museums and galleries? Do we have them to market our work, or do we have them to critique our work? Or are they merely historical institutions that record visual histories?


My answer is that art institutions are for recording visual histories and art galleries are for marketing. I think there is a great deal of value in recording visual histories, but the problem occurs when the institutions are governed by ideologies that manage the trends in art. Christie's auction house is an excellent example.
Where is the freedom? If art is controlled by markets and popular demands, and historical institutions are controlled/governed by ideologies, where is the freedom? Perhaps, it is in choice.


Recently I read an article by Maximilana Duron in the Artnews June/July 2021 publication titled “Artists In Charge.” There is a town in Guadalajara, according to this article, where the art scene is not controlled by institutions, collectors or curators but by artists. The balance of art, artists, and institutions is completely different.


Maximilana states that the openness allows artists to make mistakes. Artists can try something crazy, and it is not going to be crazy expensive so there is more room to discover, and experiment. Maximilana goes on to state that the atmosphere is more cooperative in Guadalajara than say, New York City.
My critical read of this article comes in this last statement. “There is more cooperative nature in Guadalajara than in New York City.“ This statement assumes an accepted way of thinking about creating and about the concept of art. It reflects a slight shift in tone in how we can change our current thoughts about art, from institutional control to individual control and experimentation and exploration.

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