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recent comments

On Feb 21 2017, commented on Happy New Year from RFAOH office: Hello.[...]

On Nov 23 2016, milena kosec commented on RFAOH in LIKOVNE BESEDE /ARTWORDS: On the front page is an aquarelle by Metka Krašovec, famous Slovene painter.[...]

On Oct 25 2016, milena kosec commented on Happy one year birthday to Grey Tiger, our ex-resident's on-hiatus project: Congratulatios! I hope you stil enoy in job.[...]

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On Jul 13 2016, milena kosec commented on EU presentation tour 2016 report: In Ljubljana we were happy that we had your presentation. After presentation a scientist commented: [...]


Toronto 2016 Report

We had a great time speaking to a group of art students in the “Professional Practice” class at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada last weekend.  Some were reported to be playing a video game or what-not throughout the talk, (can’t blame them!)  but there were quite a few enthusiastic students who asked engaging questions, and we felt better about the future of the “artworld” (;  These kids are super lucky to have a progressive professor invite RFAOH to discuss a reality and alternative approaches to our contemporary time in the arts. (When we were in school, the artists who came to talk were often “too successful”^^)   In bringing our own perspective to these young artists on how or what it means to work in this domain given our bizarre/daunting times, we were reminded of this point made by Ben Davis in a recent article in artnet news:

“…some soul-searching assessment of the limits of our own gestures, and some clear-eyed analysis of what rhetoric is effective and what is not, is going to be very, very important in the years to come. It will not be enough to languish in mythological beliefs about art’s value as a humanistic salve, or even to fly the flag for “political art” as a genre.  We have to debate strategy.”

img_5771news

Artists have never had it easy at any time in history, but it surely feels like now is a peculiar time to be practicing art, within an abyss of information and “democratic” access to cultural capital (but not to real capital), where, once again, “everyone is an artist”.  Our old friend and a known neon artist (but retired from the “artworld”, he claims) told us that he’s now often commissioned by art galleries to make a piece for their clients who have a “great idea” for a neon work but do not know how to make it or where to go to have it made.  So the gallery who is in the know asks him to make it and sells it to these people, and our friend goes to hang “their art” at their home without his name attached.  Are we too naive to be stunned by this?  Even though nothing like New York or London, Toronto is a big enough city with a big enough art community to offer these bizarre stories (a hip restaurant brazenly ripping off an artist’s work that everyone knows yet no apology or compensation in court; a major public gallery deleting a small artist’s online project to protect their “brand”) — all are real inspirations for RFAOH, often more so than art exhibitions.

martin-creed-work-232-tate_cropped
clearly not their work (Matin Creed, Work No. 232, Tate)

But once again, the highlight of our presentation visit was the chance to meet with one of our current residents Joyce Lau at a local brewery (how counterintuitive is it?), and to visit our ex-resident Ryan Ringer‘s hiatus project Grey Tiger! Unfortunately Ryan was too busy working the cafe to come and share his experiences at our talk, but we were very happy to see him and his project in person. (Sorry we forgot to take photos of his storefront but he’s got great drinks!)
We hope that 2017 will continue to bring more of these opportunities to gather the real people from our virtual community together.  Please send any request for a visit our way! 

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Grey Tiger Specials

 

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Roman Toasts

ArtNews.com has been running a series of interviews titled “How to fix the Art World” (part 1 2 3). Honestly, not all the concerns or answers are golden but here’s a line from Liam Gillick in the part two segment, which may resonate with our interests. (though it’s ironic that unlike ourselves, he clearly has a “career” in the arts) 

“There are two things guaranteed to undermine any self-respecting artist: One is the word “career”; the other is the notion of having a “career” in the “art world.” There is something wrong with the whole concept. A world-conquering imperialist claim that overreaches combined with a diminished sense that we are just part of a “world” within the world—a special bubble apart from reality.” 

We often wonder about the rhetoric of “career” which is normally associated with income/money, and thus, an almost impossible definition for the majority in the arts.  Would replacing the term “career” with “profession” be any better? And if neither works, what is it that we do as art or artists — “hobbies”? “volunteering”? “lifework?”  Lack of funds limit a lot of possibilities for sure but it’s the rhetoric that limits our world, our perception, imagination, freedom and ultimately, empathy. 

In light of all this, we also wanted to share “Dirty talks : Money“, the inaugural issue of an online publication Station to Station by Transartists.  It’s a great read with no necessarily satisfying conclusions.  We have been invited to contribute to their next issue to “make the *magic* happen”, and we plan to talk about “visibility” as one’s bread and butter.  Stay tuned. 

roman-toasts

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