CHRIS FREMANTLE

What art have I seen?

Posted in Exhibitions by chrisfremantle on January 30, 2013

ECONOMY at the CCA in Glasgow and Stills in Edinburgh.

My uncle wrote a book entitled God and Money.

His book is about the Italian Renaissance. I’ll send you a copy if you are interested (let’s just say you’ll owe me). These days fewer people believe in God, more believe in art, and money involves more in the way of belief. IS there a big difference between indulgences and Hedge Funds? But it’s too easy to slip into that trope.

David Haley says,

“…economy need not be limited to monetary concerns, but may carry the virtues and the values of efficiency, good management, good housekeeping, and dwelling correctly, or ecologically. And this meaning, also, imples the profoundly simple/complex aesthetic when describing the ‘economy’ of Shaker furniture, the profound simplicity of a Zen brushstroke, or the Bauhaus term, “the art of the highest utility”.

There are two parts to the exhibition Economy, one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh. I saw them on pretty much consecutive days (I then got a e-flux announcement about “It’s the Political Economy, Stupid” at the Pori Art Museum in Finland). We in the arts need to acknowledge our complicity, even our role as the avant garde in global capital and mobility.

Economy has a subtitle – work, sex, life, enclosures, crisis, spectres, exodus. David would like the inclusion of the Project Row Houses – they might be in the life category. Theirs is a minimal contribution: a poster highlights the resistance to the encroaching gentrification of the Third Ward in Houston where the Project Row Houses are located. David would appreciate the elegance of 21 shotgun houses used, seven as afterschool clubs, seven homes for single mothers and seven for artists residencies plus an office.  Check it out – its growing.

Irony is also a useful tool for exploring economics. Hito Steyerl film (which is also part of a survey at the Art Institute of Chicago at the moment) deserves time spent with it. The film follows Steyerl’s search for one set of bondage photos taken of her whilst she was in Tokyo studying film some 10 years previously. She doesn’t know the name or location of the studio, magazine, photographer or ropemaster. As the ingenue she is able to visit and explore this strange world. Everyone wants to help. They are proud to be asked.

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One Response

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  1. L A Hackett said, on February 22, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Copy of the book would be wonderful to have!


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