The artworld is at a dead end. Artists hoping for achievement are doomed if they don’t conform to the foundations of the sport, and people who do succeed are rare. Most art remains bound up in ideas of exclusivity, both within the individual nature of every work and therefore the elitism related to its ownership—a concept that sidelines the essential communicative purpose of art, sacrificing it to non-public ownership and value. The art market has become soulless. The alternatives? Either art loses itself in an exceedingly cult of empty exclusivity, or it turns to its audience. It’s time to rouse.
In nearly every other market, the facility of the general public has been transformative. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, endless curated content on blogs and websites—we now inhabit a world where virtually limitless tailored content is offered, yet we’ve got completely overlooked a stubbornly unchanging part of cultural life.
Because public institutions and huge events like biennials are smitten by galleries and collectors for backing, they show only some art market superstars and aspirants. We could show empirically that a little network of latest York gallerists encompasses a chokehold on determining what’s good art and what’s shown, ensuring the worth of their prize assets. In this world, diversity is for hypocrisy only.
Hugely successful blockbuster exhibitions don’t exert any pressure on the dominance of the magic circle at the center of the art market. For older, art-savvy visitors, they’re staged as an academic program.
Audiences must start to comprehend they don’t should admire other people’s investments. they’ll decide what’s worth seeing and what should be exhibited. They’ll make it a variety of culture within which they’ll get involved; that they’ll speak; which listens to their voices; and which, in turn, also speaks for them.
We need to form public art institutions more democratic. We must find an art ecosystem during which artists intercommunicate their audience and contrariwise, and during which the market learns to respect the voices of the various. It isn’t impossible: We are already seeing some large institutions setting out to think along these lines. But the instant will pass us by if we don’t act.