n.e.w.s. is a collective online platform for the analysis and development of art-related activity, drawing upon contributions from around the globe, bringing together different voices, accents and outlooks from the North, East, West and South. | Read more..

time will tell

Finally I got some time to respond, including my initial thoughts on from Renee's and Stephen's recent postings on 'time' and 'commodification'. At the same time I am watching the news unfold on the latest burst of the world economy (at one point I imagined I was imagining looking instead at Tatsuo Miyajima 'Counting' installations).

I cannot help thinking on whether the next bubble to burst - in similar fashion to the dot com and housing market bubble - will indeed be the art market (give and take a few monts or years from now)

Speculation, deregulation, and accreditation -- these terms sound very familiar. Where will the hedge funds move next?

Recently I was confronted with the million dollar questions that apparently seem of interest to those working the art market -- who's got staying power? and who will be the next to rise to prominence? The obvious answer seems to be 'time will tell'. With this in mind, this is perhaps the right time to re-value the need for (art) history, (art) criticism, and rethinking the future of art (ie its purpose).

For some time now, contemporary art has been flourishing without a clear direction - in terms of its past, present, and future. Much seems to be based on the spectacle of the 'now' - without much concern about the conditions of the past, the immediacy of the present, and the improbable of the future.

Art criticism became unpopular; art history was considered outdated; and circulation seemed sufficient enough to generate interest. I wonder if, as of today, the tide maybe turning. Two questions cross my mind (before I am claiming my right to sleep):

Do we need art critics to establish a dialogue about contemporary art? -- The recent form at de Witte de With in Rotterdam may provide some answers (see: http://www.wdw.nl/project.php?id=183). I am hoping to hear/read more.

Do we need art historians to explain the basic principles of things we need to know about contemporary art? I guess any answer to this maybe a bit premature. The need for some form of understanding seems to have been raised, at least.

As I am writing this entry I received an email from a commercial gallery promoting a forum on Asian (read Chinese) art (see: www.asiaartforum.com), and my other eye is focused on the review that I was asked to write for the 'Australian' newspaper on the latest book by Melissa Chiu (Asia Society Museum, NYC) on 'Chinese Contemporary - 7 Things You Need to Know' (New York: AW Asia, 2008).

Meanwhile, I find myself counting...

I guess, 'time will tell'