Two thought-provoking articles recently surfaced in the international press that lay bare the economics of the visual arts system. In a roundup of an unusually hectic summer market, Kenny Schachter names names and discusses deals gone wrong in a recent edition of Monopole. If you didn't already know how the gallery/collector ecosystem works, worth a read. And, a summary of a study recently completed by the Paying Artists campaign published by the Guardian found that more than 70% of artists who took part in public exhibitions last year worked for free. More attention should be paid to the economic systems in which artists (try to) work - encouraging participants at all levels to engage rather than remaining passive, or worse, complicit in economic systems that undermine artists.
After relocating to the space previously occupied by Rudolf Zwirner, the Priska Pasquer Gallery has launched its inagural exhibition showcasing artists' responses to the "new modernist" present - and speculative future - of the digital age. In the gallery's statement Pasquer poses several broad questions: "How do artists respond to the digital transformation? What themes define art in the digital age? How does the digital age change the way artists view the world? How does art work in the digital age and how can artists respond to the new challenges that present themselves?" In "Reset I", the first in a series of curatorial and artistic explorations of these themes, Pasquer draws together works by an international roster of twelve young artists, and includes an array of approaches - sound and video, 3D animation, performance, paintings, and sculptural objects. Among those works on display: in "Level Cleared", American artist Evan Roth presents a giant grid of tiny hand-dated, transparent fingerprint smears, suggesting both an ink-and-paper displacement of touchscreen interactions and the hasty, distracted repetition of biometric recognition. German artist Adrian Sauer takes the notion of the grid more literally in a series of photographs of humble graph paper. The transition of photography from a chemical to a digital, algorithmic process, subtle variations in the monotonous sameness of blank grids, and the camera's distortion of the very precision demanded by a grid all subtly reveal the lie of control and precision that digital media promises.
Priska Pasquer Gallery
September 5 - November 14, 2015