Sunday, December 2, 2007

global art market

“PARIS, March 22 (Reuters Life!) - The global fine art market grew 52 percent to $6.4 billion in 2006 with prices close to levels last seen in 1990 and exceeding them in some markets such as the United States, according to a study published on Thursday.” Reuters

“Christie's has opened offices in emerging markets, such as Dubai, Mumbai and Shanghai, to expose local artists to an international audience and bring new buyers into the global market.” Business Report

For my final paper, I am investigating the increasingly global fine art smarket , drawing on Lee and Lipuma, Ang, Jameson, Tsing. Today,a new precedent for art produced for, exhibited on and sold to a global scale, and I look to interrogate 1) how the market is “Global” 2) how status and meaning of art objects might need to be conceptualized differently. For example, what are the specific challenges that the global nature of contemporary art presents to the identity-factories that are traditional museums? What is the status of art as capital/commodity? As local artifact? Viewing, ownership as knowledgeand access to “other” community?
Question s of changing content and audience, national memory embedded or represented by art, the role of the internet and emailing . For example, circulating jpgs of art-to-be-auctioned can break a dealer’s reputation . Modern ease in transport -- English aristocracy flies to Venice toacquire Chinese art, etc.

In particular, I have been thinking about art as material object s– such as paintings, sculptures, certain new media– that are arguably localized in that the pieces do work reifying local memory, identity while also demanding a physical presence, whose value is somewhat dependant on the “in-person” character of viewing at spaces (museums, galleries, buying at a fair since major deals are not usually brokered online). Yet, now it is somewhat newly unmoored from the local in in numerous ways. Some thoughts I have had: A painting, for example, is less confined to the sphere of museum and private home, now mobile or trans-frontier through every thing from rising numbers of travelling exhibitions, fairs, festivals, the web to the need for artists to have websites.

Finally, I will touch on the glocal nature of art production through the question: how have Art Colonies been affected by the internet? Specifically, has the internet and e-commerce finally made possible the sustainable, autonomous, colony? The “global” possibilities offered by internet capitalism is, perhaps ironically, the very thing which allows for the success of these idealist, escapist, separatist villages that glorify the pre-modern. What are the implications of this? Art colonies can be permenant villages in which residents stay for lifetime. Or, more fluid, anually fluctuating populations. Or, semi-permanent mix of visiting and resident artists. Movement away from urban centers, and industrialisation. Growing nostalgia for lost rural, authentic experience. Before, these did not succeed because artists were forced to return to urban centers to make money to continue their lifestyles – either by engaging in a trade distinct from their work (bar-tending, building, etc.) or to sell their paintings, etc. I will provide examples of historical colonies, current old-model colonies (MacDowell), and the new colonies (Ryujin village, Japan).

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