Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Trouble in Venice

This weeks post is about a controversy brewing surrounding an Irish artist that is to be represented at the Venice Biennale next year. The full story can be read here.

Essentially, the artist and the Representative selected to curate the Irish contribution to this international exhibition come from the same gallery in New York. The article explained how decisions were made, and elaborates on why this is such an issue.

The major issue is the accepted practice for the juror to be unbiased when selecting artworks for inclusion in a exhibition. This is not the first example contradicting this practice that I have come across. It has been my experience that if the artist knows the juror, and especially if the juror is very familiar with the artwork, then chances are very good that that artist will be admitted.

Major exhibitions should be based on double blind admissions. However, the contemporary art world is pretty small and I'm not sure how one could guarantee anonymity. Perhaps if a show relied on average art enthusiasts instead of established art historians, art critics, and gallery owners as jurors, a true blind submission process could be established.

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