Tuesday 06.29.10 — Art, Criticism, and Its Markets

Topic(s): Uncategorized | No Comments

Date/Time: 29/06/2010 12:00 am

Tuesday 06.29.10 — Art, Criticism, and Its Markets — Reading Group
1. About this Wednesday
2. Week 2 Readings
3. Possible Upcoming Readings
1. About this Tuesday
What: Reading Discussion
Where: 16Beaver Street, 4th Floor
When: Tuesday 06.29.10 at 7:15 pm
Who: Free and open to all
This will be the third reading group. In the series
Zac And Anastiya have written the following note for Week 3:
In the next meeting of the “Art, Criticism, and its Markets” discussion group, we would like to continue with the reading of Isabelle Graw’s “High Price”, concentrating on Chapter Two “Beyond the Dualistic Art/Market Model”.  A specific thematic emphasis will be placed on the commodity-status of artwork and its possible similarity to that of money.
Graw designates art as a special kind of commodity – not only because of its dual nature as an “object of utility” and a “bearer of value”, but also because “artworks are split into a symbolic value and a market value” [Graw, p.25].  It is arguable, however, that since every commodity possesses the dual character, the specificity of art is due only to the fact that within the ratio of use to exchange value, the fist one is virtually null.
Such disproportionate favoring of the imaginary, idealistic, not grounded in any concrete use component of the commodity is characteristic of one other thing – namely, money.
Similarly to money, art can be seen as an exchange material –  as an incarnated mediation between the knowledge and financial market. Marx’s description of money as a “third commodity”, as a “common element” and a “third thing” connecting and confronting the rest of commodities is easily applicable to artworks as well.
How far can the parallel between art and money be drawn?  Will this theoretical comparison be enlightening for the understanding of the operations of art market? While in the evaluative maneuvers around art works art-history is commonly evoked, money is rarely given a historical perspective.  In this meeting we would attempt to achieve an insight into the status of art work as a commodity through historicizing money.
Suggested readings include:
Isabelle Graw, 2nd chapter of “High Price”
Abstracts from Jean-Joseph Goux’s “Symbolic Economies”




Georg Simmel “The Philosophy of Money”  (the link is to the entire book, feel free to find a point of interest)


Karl Marx on the Power of Money


youtube videos on the history of money

Also, here’s a link of interest, that Tom Williams was kind enough to
share http://fora.tv/2008/04/14/Artforum_at_The_New_School-Art_and_Money
2. Week 2 Readings
The reading list for Week 2 is largely the same, we only suggest continuing with the Graw text to the end of the chapter. Moreover, we have added a Hal Foster text.
For the introductory meeting we will look at the following texts:
Isabelle Graw, foreword and Chapter 1 to High Price


The Medium is the Market
Hal Foster


Michel Foucault “What is Critique?”


Dietrich Dietrichson “On (Surplus) Value in Art”


Barbara Rose “The Auction is the Action”


and view a promotional video from Artprice, a French company that
serves as the largest database of the art sales records.

3. Possible Upcoming Readings
We have written possible 3rd meeting reading list, because we hope the people who take part will have additional suggestions.
Georges Bataille & numismatics (abstracts from Denis Hollier Against
Architecture: Writings of Georges Bataille)
“Art and its markets: a roundtable discussion” , Artforum, April 2008


Seth Price “Dispersion”


Pierre Bourdieu, abstracts from The Rules of Art.

Questions? Ask us