September 22 sees the publication of an "emergency issue" of Open, the "cahier on art and the public domain" published by SKOR. As a result of the destructive cuts in Dutch arts funding, SKOR has announced that it will stop publishing Open after the May 2012 issue. This special Dutch-language edition is a magazine-style supplement to De Groene Amsterdammer. All subscribers of this weekly will receive it, and while it will be absent from in-store copies of De Groene, it will be available for free in a number of bookstores and art spaces. You can also download it as a PDF (but beware: it's in Dutch).
Together with Jorinde Seijdel and Merijn Oudenampsen, as well as managing editor Liesbeth Melis, I was part of the editorial team of this noodnummer (a term that can also be translated as "emergency number," as in 911). Its title is "Over de nieuwe politiek van cultuur," or "On the New Politics of Culture," and it contains a number of incisive analyses of the reconstruction not only of the Dutch art world, but of Dutch society as a whole. For me, it is a local and more action-oriented sequel to the international survey that was the "Idiot Wind" issue of e-flux journal.
Among the contributors are Bik Van der Pol, Charles Esche, Pascal Gielen, Arnoud Holleman and Gert Jan Kocken, Wendelien van Oldenborgh, Zihni Özdil, Willem Schinkel and Lidwien van de Ven. My own text, "Autonomie in actie," is connected to my participation in The Autonomy Project, as well as to a chapter of my book-in-progress, History in Motion. On September 23, there will be a public presentation at Plein der Beschaving, Tolhuisweg 2, Amsterdam Noord.
The English Open homepage is here.
Image: Willem de Rooij, Chick, 2008.
Texte zur Kunst no. 83 (September 2011) is dedicated to the collector—or more particularly that new breed, the contemporary mega-collector, a global player in an expanding market—going hand in hand, in Europe, with shrinking public funding--that has transformed the art world beyond recognition. I contributed a review (pp. 237-241) of Richard Prince's exhibition American Prayer at the Bibliothèque Francois Mitterand—the BnF’s sprawling fortress by the Seine. While this review is not part of the thematic section, it complements, for Prince's show showcased the artist-as-collector of books, manuscripts and cover art. From the review:
It is clear that the expansion of the art market since the 1980s has allowed Prince to collect not only first editions but also manuscripts on a grand scale. Perhaps it is only fitting, given the ascendancy of the curator in the neoliberal culture industry, that the role of artist and collector seem to be become ever more indistinguishable in Prince’s case. However, this erasure of borders makes odd class distinctions come to the fore: class distinctions between the books themselves, some of which are treasured as fetish-objects while others are integrated into the American English pieces; and between Prince and the viewers, some of whom may have similar interests but dissimilar budgets. As an art of conspicuous collecting, Prince’s work is implicated in the wealth redistribution from bottom (and middle) to top that marks the current phrase of capitalism. Few can afford Burroughs’ letters or Hunter S. Thompson’s manuscripts, and even when one finds a book that one owns oneself, Prince’s copy will invariably be more mint. Such social comparisons befit an exhibition that makes connections and comparisons by the dozens, from the explicit (UK version next to US version, cowboys next to cowboys, Brooke Shields next to Brooke Shields) to the gnomic."