Curated Australia/Japan exhibition & magazine project
Home Loan (2003)
Curated project at Carolyn Springs, Victoria
Funded by Arts Victoria, co-curated with Kate Shaw
Once upon a time, the art world was compared to that of anthropology. George E. Marcus and Fred Myers’ (1995) pivotal work in this area served to de"ne the artist (and curators) as ethnographers, charting the ethnoscapes of contemporary culture. French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu showed us how to read art in terms of sociology to uncover the cultural, social and economic ‘capital’ (knowledges) naturalizing modes of taste. As Arjun Appadurai (1987) noted, commodities, like people, have life biographies.
Now, in an age where consumers have been de"ned as‘prosumers’ (producers and consumers), are they artists too? If they are, what is the role of artists? And what can be made of the shift from anthropology/sociology to business analogy? Laptop in hand, artists are the new business graduates (like all graduates with monstrous study debts). But why does it seem that it is the corporations, not the artists’, that are pro"ting?
In the face of prevailing futurism and social networking of web 2.0, the art world has continued to question the role of creativity and place. Far from a homogenized global village, the “international” arts community only further illustrates the signi"cance of locality and regionalism. In the age of dream societies, whereby products encapsulate lifestyle identity and everyday users can supposedly become producers, artists can still provide a window onto the way in which place and proximity informs the ubiquity of lifestyle consumer cultures.
In the social equation of global networks, the suburban satellite urbanities of Melbourne and LA provide parallel experiences in contemporary media cultures. But what does it mean to be a parallel city in an age of social capital and constructed communities of MySpace and YouTube? What does city ‘families’ mean in an age of rampant social networking that privileges connectivity over contact? Is this a case of being put on hold?
Or making a u-turn?
Download the u-turn catalogue here.