New York As Open Market

June 19th - 25th, 2006

Ironically, the continuing technological and communicational advances in our globalized present do not guarantee equal opportunities for all. Instead of generating a trans-national community with a shared set of aesthetic and perceptual foundations, the art world remains structured as a set of multiple hegemonic systems. To fight against the marginalization of the art scenes that do not belong to the most privileged centers, I would like to contribute to the open exchange between New York and Belgrade.  Firmly believing that both artist community and general audience in Belgrade should have the opportunity to see firsthand and without delays, the innovative art production from the “center of the art world, New York” this show will present a group of leading emerging artists of the New York art scene.

This exhibition focuses on the artists who established themselves on the New York art scenes but are at the same time critical of the art market as it is today. The paradigm of the “open market” points to the nature of the exchange in the art world. I offer a following allegorical story about the power-relationship in the New York art scene.
When, in Spring 2005, the Museum of Modern Art decided to put itself in the epicenter of contemporary production by organizing an exhibition of the emerging artists from New York City area (the exhibition “Greater New York”) more than 2000 artists sent their proposals. Only 150 of them were chosen to show the works. This is how the logic of the open market is manifested: where there is demand, there is supply. After the show opened, the vast majority of artists found their galleries, which provided them to be able to sell their works. Open market, literally meaning “market on the open air,” is, and, at the same time, it is not an institution. It is an institution because it possesses certain regulations. But, it can be dismantled so easily and the owners of the “booths” in the “open-air market places” are changing, whiles the merchandise and the buyers also change rapidly. In this “open-air market” there are those who possess the official stands, and those who have to be satisfied with marginally placed, improvised card boxes. Those with official places can raise their prices, while everybody’s in a hurry to sell art that is still fresh – to capture buyers’ urge to possess the new seasonal products. It is funny that “open market” art logic is different from the neutral supermarket – it is bolder, cheekier, and dirtier. Those who fight against the “order of things,” those who are ready to give a discount against the logic of profit are causing problems.

The most interesting challenging art practices stem from the artists who don’t have as their only goal to be found on the shelves of (art) SUPERMARKET. This show will present artists who enjoy rituals that surround the logic of exchange, those who enjoy bargaining but also refuse” indecent proposal” that would compromise their critical stance. These artists confront the balanced exchange of money and art-as-merchandize by challenging the nature of power relations within these transactions. The artists who admit they need to trade art for money to produce new art undoubtedly show us that that the dynamic lies in the exchange of ideas, visual poetics, modes, and representations.

List of participants: Mika Rottenberg, Aida Ruilova, John Dooley, Randy Moore, Jenny Perlin, Nebojša Šerić – Shoba

Jovana Stokić

(New York As) Open Market
– The individual in Global Spectacle –