Art Monthly - Review
Demand and Supply, Liste 18 Art Fair.
A review by Michael Hampton, writer for Art Monthly
The title of this project, dynamically reversing the terms of a standard formula, hints at the presence of an unusual state of affairs. It seems that in an economic universe dominated by the supply side, it is to demand-driven supply that Jeremy Hutchison has turned.
The Brechtian stripping-back of the language in the press release to ‘a gallerist’ ‘an artist’ ‘the collector’ and ‘an activist’ sets up an almost diagrammatic set of working relationships, which during the course of Demand & Supply become partly subverted, ie ‘the artist’ becomes ‘a gallerist’, while ‘the collector’ becomes ‘an artist’. The status of the various figures involved, and the nature of the role-play outlined in the press release is thus revealed initially in the indefinite or definite articles attached to the players, (ie is hierarchically nuanced) while the linguistic design (‘The protester must write whatever he wants, The artist must act as gallerist, The profits must be split’) traces the development from a conceptual praxis to the reality of a hard-edged business transaction, viz selling the eleven value-added plywood boards, presumably to an unnamed customer or institution beyond the circumscribed circuitry.
Demand and Supply would appear to problematise several fundamental issues, particularly ‘inspiration’ ‘ownership’ and ‘provenance’, as the boards themselves become the focus of a scripted drama, exposing the often murky percentage-driven, exploitative relationships that underpin the art world. Here the shuttling of normal processes and shuffling of social relations in an attempt to confuse the public, stakes reputation to an uncertain extent on the play of chance. It is gambled that the novel pre-conditions will work out, and succeed in lessening the inevitable weight of fetishism generally attached to art objects in the art market, so foregrounding the graphic message of the contractors from the Occupy movement, as a species of joint anti-capitalist ‘art’.
by Michael Hampton.