Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Way I See It: Artists on Politics

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

The Way I See It: Artists on Politics

Article excerpt

Does art make a difference?

Yes, in the sense that it very often anticipates things. That is the case for Picasso's Guernica, for instance. Even though it is a work that was made to comment on a specific war, it is an enduring manifesto for peace.

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Does money corrupt an artist?

Art can never be reduced to money because it examines and reflects other worlds and other realities. Great artists have always been free spirits and very independent minds, even if some of them are deemed valuable by the art market. The connection between art and money cannot be denied, but ultimately money and power are transitory phenomena.

Is your art for the many or the few?

I have always believed in Gilbert and George's idea of "art for all". It is central to our philosophy at the Serpentine Gallery to offer free admission. As a curator, my work is to make artistic endeavours public.

Which artist do you most admire, and why?

Among the artists that I admire most is the Italian Alighiero Boetti, by whom I am greatly inspired and from whom I have learned so much. He was one of the first artists to truly understand globalisation and its inherent possibilities and dangers. Meeting him when I was 18 was an incredibly important experience for me. He told me, back then, that as an artist you are always doing exhibitions in galleries and museums, but there are many other things you would like to do which, perhaps, artists are not supposed to do--such as exhibitions in spaces such as trains and planes. This conversation opened a door for me.

Where do you work best? …

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