19 March 2010

Corporate Artwork

No. 3834 - 15 Mar 2010 - 09:54:50

The line between corporate and fine art is blurred. In order to succeed in the one it is necessary to understand and exploit the other.

There is a resistance to using the grander, more obvious Georgia Street entrance of the Vancouver Art Gallery (building on the right side of image) that dates back to its transformation from courthouse to arthouse. There has always been a fear of democratic assembly on its steps which is based realistically on its historic roots as a centre of all things law and order in the old town. Is this still a viable excuse for a modern, post-Olympic city? Naturally the VAG wants to control their narrow, professional creativity and protect itself from the vagaries of a broad, public creativity and it is also likely they are more concerned with getting a new, sexy building and therefore have put the life of their existing improvement on perpetual hold.

Ivory towers and stone lions impress, while effectively preserving the cultural aspirations of the ruling class and the things it values, in spite of the occasional financial/art bubble. The art world PPP's (private-public partnerships) depend on corporate endowment and profitable cooperation unlike the patronage of a member of the elite interested in art for art's sake. The art for business model of the Cultural Olympiad was inaccessible to those without discretionary entertainment funds or alternatively to those unwilling to sign paperwork promising not to say mean things about VANOC in return for artist funding. This model has dramatically affected government arts funding where it still exists.

It is difficult to stay in the game as a free-thinker; paradoxically one wants in but does not know how to find acceptance in the line of duty.

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