Magazine article Artforum International

"Art & Economy". (Reviews)

Magazine article Artforum International

"Art & Economy". (Reviews)

Article excerpt

DEICHTORHALLEN

Expectations could only be low: A corporation, Siemens, was hosting an exhibition on the theme of art and economy. Would there be room for critique, or would art just play the role of court jester? Such concerns were hardly assuaged by the room set aside here for the self-representations of firms that had agreed to answer questions about the politics of art in their business. As one might expect, these self-portraits dealt more or less openly with credibility, distinction, and power. They culminated in photographs of CEOs: modern-day courtly portraits, every last one of them a manly hero in a suit posing in front of the artistically high-carat appointments of his executive suite. Were such photographs not already familiar from newsmagazines, we might even, given enough goodwill, have suspected them of irony.

The artistic section of the exhibition, with thirty-two participants, went rather on the offensive in its criticism of art and business as a marriage of convenience. In this spirit, Matthieu Laurette, acting as a kind of consumer activist, makes a living from the money-back guarantees of manufacturers and touts this rip-off as artistry. Claude Closky strings together thousands of imperatives from printed advertisements, whose promises of happiness become, in their numbers, mutually ridiculous: PEEL THE DIFFERENCE, PICK YOUR PLEASURE, or just BE HAPPY. A photo by Clegg & Guttmann shows a shady crowd that looks like a Mafia clan but is identified as the executive management of a couple of corporations. Harun Farocki's films of managerial seminars have no need of artistic treatment. In and of themselves they reveal their dyed-in-the-wool philosophy and the very peculiar slang of such events, which culminates in the words of a bank-branch director: "If someone has visions, they should go out to the fields or els e to therapy. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.