We live in a world where the distinction between art and economics appears to become increasingly blurred by several kinds of manipulation. But some artists are ahead of the field. Pricing is not just a materialistic data, it has become part of the creating process.
Nowadays, you don’t need to be a fine art specialist to hear about Jeff Koons’ last auction or Banksy’s recent sale. You don’t need to be aware of how contemporary artists work and sell their stuff to understand what’s going on there. You only need to know the basics of capitalism, which shouldn’t be too hard for most of us -unless you live in a place where there is no wifi, television or supermarket. Because contemporary art is not so much about art, it’s more about finance, investment and things like that. Our time is as it is, sorry.
Since we have to consider art as an element of the global market, we’re glad to discover new artists who, at least, understand the fundamental structure underlying the whole thing -without pretending auction pricing represents any kind of real value. Because when it comes to pricing, there is no such thing as real or true value. There’s just some vague, contingent, provisory price. That’s all.
Young artist Tom Connan, best known for his musical and literary work, has released his debut readymade Ceremony, which is “an introduction to the study of human frustration”. Fair enough.
Now let’s mention the crazy-mind pricing. According to the artist, “it appears necessary to subvert the traditional valuation procedure which includes gallery acquisition and auction sale. I want to be the essential part of that process. I want to own that process. That means I give it a fixed price. For this piece of art, this is €100,000. Not 101,000. Not 99,000. The final and totally subjective price is €100,000.”
When we asked why that “subjective” price was so high, Tom Connan told us: “art is now directly linked to its market value. Therefore, as this is an obscene work, the price also has to be obscene.”
This is 2018.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED BY TYLER LEMING IN MEDIAPART