An Independent Daze (COLLECT, April 2012)

Robert Stack, Curator, Yellow Peril Gallery

Matthew Darbyshire, Accessorized Columns

Matthew Darbyshire, Accessorized Columns

Once upon a time Artists created for Patrons: the church, the government, rich people. The 19th Century popularized the museum: art for art’s sake, a concept taken further in the 20th century with performance art, (Where exactly does one keep Chris Burden crucified to a VW? The garage?) but the 21st century brings a feminist stance. Art may want you, but it doesn’t need you.

Enter the aptly named Independent. The brainchild of Elizabeth Dee and Darren Flook, now in it’s 3rd year, Independent is, in it’s own words: “a collective exhibition and a re-examination of the art fair model”. An art fair about art fairs, so to speak, a critique on the art market, at the art market.

For all it’s wink-wink, nudge-nudge, insider’s joke posturing, Darbyshire’s Columns are crafted works of art, created by hand and utilizing skills other than those of the intellectual kind. (Does that make it old fashioned?) Venture further into the booth-less art fair, and you’ll find works of art you didn’t know you’d already seen, or perhaps even own.

Thea Djordjadze’s Untitled dirty old blue rug meditation on blue is artwork you are literally encouraged to walk allover.

Tim Burr’s His Personal Effects provides a slick minimalist podium encasing a dirty old archived pair of sneakers.

B.Wurtz, Untitled

B.Wurtz, Untitled

B. Wurtz’s Untitled dirty old reclaimed plastic bags stuck placed on a stick invites us to pay attention to our surrounds, or so we’re told. Think of your crazy cat-lady aunt as not so much a
hoarder, as a self-referential artiste.

To be fair, not everything at the Art Fair, which prefers the moniker “temporary exhibition forum,” is about reinterpreting the repossessed.

Personally, I want to be a fly on the wall when any collector discusses the installation of Mac Adams’ Blackmail, a staged vignette depicting a violently interrupted dinner party.

Mac Adams, Blackmail

Mac Adams, Blackmail

How exactly does one house this work without alarming guests upon arrival?

But these are the mundane questions for the art selling types who booth it over at The Armory Show.

Independent is the art show for people who show art.

Collectors? Independent may want you, but it doesn’t need you.

Cool, right?

An Independent Daze originally appeared COLLECT, May 2012; Robert P. Stack is the Editor-in-Chief. Read the magazine online »