Published on Sunday, January 16th, 2011
Just a few editions back at Venice Biennale and more particularly in the Brazilian pavilion, it was presented a work entitled “Foi um prazer
”, which means: “It’s been a pleasure
The work consisted of putting on a show having for protagonists all
business cards accumulated during the relationships that had to be
overtaken by the artist in order to come and exhibit in Venice in that
hall...It was a very impressive number of tickets. Therefore it was fair and consistent for those to represent the work: after all, taking that each meeting had lasted relatively shortly, one would seriously doubt that the artist would have any time left to do anything, let alone produce work that was not the cast material of that system of relations. I increasingly feel that contemporary art in recent years, that is the work of artists, the real trace of the path, always ends up being a list: generally it’s made up of the list of places where the work has been exposed, which in most cases the reader or listener did not have nor could have had the opportunity to visit physically. The list of collections, which in many cases remain distant and impenetrable, followed by government procurement, even more dispersed and remote. And so on.
There’s no work left, not more than a photograph in many cases. What stays is the list. The artist himself, having to do with people who can often only grant a limited and distracted area of attention, no longer speaks of his work, instead he makes a list of the places where he has exhibited and those where he will exhibit next.
In the end, perhaps it will be no longer necessary to even show the works, giving the pieces to the collections, fulfilling orders: what will be worth exhibiting will only be a list of cards, invitations, exhibitions, perhaps, or the storage of collections deposited, or letters from clients. Eventually, perhaps, there no longer will be the need to expose anything, the tale of the work will do, and whoever is better at telling stories will win.
Finally, perhaps, that moment has arrived, even if unnoticed, and is fine. Finally, perhaps, that moment has arrived, people have noticed, it’s good for everybody and nobody really cares. As long as you have something to talk about. Yes, it must be so. As lon§g as they are happy.
pro-rector of communication and publishing, and director of the arts and industrial design department - iuav university - venice
*article published on Exibart.onpaper n. 68. Te l’eri perso? Abbonati!