Saturday, November 16, 2013


Thursday Nite, November 14: What a dope I am sitting and waiting for the arts panel discussion at Moore to get to a tangible point. The topic is CITYWIDE, the collaboration of over 25 loosely connected co-operative spaces who are exhibiting together, sharing spaces. Sounds like a great idea. I was convinced until I heard benevolent curator from NY/UK, Matthew Higgs talk down to the audience. There is nothing like an English snob to make your own elitist tendencies take stock. I have lived in London and know what I am talking about. He trashed the likes of Damien Hirst (who made mega art careers in Britain possible) then went on to flatter a short period in New York where seminal artists were falling off the sidewalk – does Gordon Matta-Clark matter these days? – and signing up for shows at the vintage White Columns Gallery, the alternative New York space. Pardon me? “We don’t use the word alternative anymore,” stated Higgs. Is it now Indie-Galleries? Higgs began with an analogy to his interest in small Manchester record labels that “changed the world.” Excuse me? I love Joy Division and New Order too (Factory Records) but we are talking about art galleries. Specifically, local mom and pop co-ops. There was little discussion of the actual state of the Philadelphia playing field and why these collectives are so crucial in a city of down market murals. His last comments about how, "artists have all the power,” was BS at best and incredibly patronizing. This discussion was a wasted opportunity for dialogue and an example of curatorial (institutional) obfuscation as if his audience was a collection of eager beaver dolts.


j said...

Brits like Matthew Higgs need to get over their sense of superiority which is mostly due to the surprising fact that most Americans are more willing to give someone a hearing than most Brits.

James Rosenthal said...

Spoken like a true-Brit. Thanks.