Originally published in FRAUSTELLUNGEN by Kasia Fudakowski and Jennifer Chert (Chert and Motto Books, June 2015)
We are in Art Basel.
—You expect to be able to ignore everything in an art fair.
You should know art fairs are uncriticisable.
If you are in, hypocritical. Out, sour grapes.
My issue: it hurts to see friends stressed, depressed, servile to the kind of people we detest.
BALD MEN ARGUING OVER THE COMB
Entrenched, fearful, opposed to change.
They establish prizes.
Waving jewels at the proles – hoping their carnivals sate us – these prizes employ competition, segregation, judgement so as to subjugate art to the only concept they understand.
Art Basel Statements.
The artist presents Sexistinnen.
—To self-sabotage your chances of winning, to give up before you’ve tried, is a female trait. Trait is not the word. An unfortunate common occurrence. I’m not sure you need to talk about this.
But I will.
A man I am. Wanting those dilettante thoughts. I write about art in progress, make statements, reach conclusions. Raw and incomplete, I shape you in my image.
Growing up publicly, some artists maintain an illusion of answers. Her sculpture has answers. But as the stuff an artist who makes stuff accumulates, the studio encloses.
What will become?
Buyout fantasies or, better still, giant bonfire, take this burden.
The artist turns to performance.
A sculpture falls on her head.
—Accidents which become the best bits.
Performance, a volatile material, but one whose storage is the limitless soul of the artist.
The title given to a 2013 solo show in Berlin – Berlin – a hometown, or where her stuff is?
VIPs in fleets of silver Mercedes.
They are a flying class, occasionally landing on earth to fill their boots.
THE KIND OF PEOPLE WE DETEST
—I was a woman-hater for a long time. I thought I had to be macho and male in order to be ambitious and successful.
Is the artist the comedian firing jokes so fast there is never pause to ask—But how are you really doing?
Shame. Humiliation. Disgust.
Happen a lot lately, right?
Their energy chiming with performances by the artist.
At a concert, before he was imprisoned, Boy George told his audience—None of us are defined by our mistakes.
The self-help function of performance.
To exorcise the artist’s greatest enemy.
Performance confronting performance. Patriarchy, comedy, art fairs, the being of an artist – these are confronted too.
Taking on terror, performance draws artist and audience towards its diabolical flame.
But what of the sculptures?
Once the performance is over, are they left props, barren remainders, lost without Master Performer, or are they defiant?
Shame. Humiliation. Disgust.
The stocks and the stoning. We have become CCTV. Tallying every foolishness, Internet trawling for proof of indiscretion, failure.
Indiscretion, failure – the being of an artist.
No shame. No humiliation. No disgust.
The being of an artist is lifelong learning and those who call us hypocrites, who claim we don’t know what we’re talking about, they will be ignored for we are hungry, so hungry for change, and ours is the right to be forgotten, put in print dumb-half-formed things, get stuck in and make ridiculous statements, reach conclusions and hold no fixed position.
Annual summits about big subjects with a female ending.
Maybe started as a joke?
Reading Mary Woolstencraft.
—I really wasn’t able to consume it before.
We are so hungry.
Feminism in its fifth wave.
—I’m not well-educated enough to tell you the names of the waves.
ONE DAY YOU WAKE UP
AND YOU’RE MAKING WOMAN ART
A line from the So Viele Frauen performance.
Vanity Fair magazine.
The photograph of Leo Castelli and his stable of men, rebooted, all female gallerists.
—I was thinking often women didn’t take their own careers as artists seriously. It wasn’t as much a profession as a hobby.
Debate today a surroundsound opinion shitstorm.
—It’s not careery to use rattan.
WE NEED TO STOP BEING ADDICTED
TO OTHER PEOPLE’S VERSIONS
A line from somewhere. A film, TV show. Or Skype with the artist.