Thursday, December 23, 2010

Artist as Collector… Collector as Artist.

At various stages of my life I've encountered a barter culture in small sections of the arts community. The simplest manifestation of this is evident in the crafts sector where, for example, a glass artist might exchange an object with a ceramist. This concept functions particularly well with anything even mildly utilitarian but seems problematic with objects that are - for want of a better word - useless.

One of the genuine tragedies of any form of creative pursuit is the inevitable swath of art objects that are out of sight, unlikely to ever resurface and slowly degrading in inadequate storage facilities. Perhaps it would be a prudent strategy to develop a 'swap' or 'loan' culture so that artworks at least partially fulfil their intended purpose.

Some artists approach this in a different way by simply buying work, presumingly with the hope that others in the arts community might do the same with their work. This is a good strategy in that the protagonists develop a form of cultural-driven equity that might prove important on a number of levels later in life and equally it is a validation of artistic practices.

The inverse of this is also interesting both aesthetically and curatorially. I am often surprised by the little snippets on ABC's 'Collectors' where they walk through the various eccentric collections.

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