Italy, November 3d, 2012. I’m on my way for a wonderful week-end in Tuscany with a friend. We’ll be attending Florens Biennale, related to Heritage issues, and then we’ll move to Montecatini Terme, a lovely liberty city where stars like Grace Kelly were habituées. Here’s how Sarah Thornton and Florens 2012 started crossing my mind.
Attending an international event at the 500 salon at Palazzo Vecchio, in the heart of Florence, is priceless. I couldn’t stop staring at the amzing affreschi, that make every italian citizen proud to be born in this country, were I’m still based, as I’m finishing University. But this Biennale wasn’t really convincing. The free conferences were attended mainly by art market dealers, italian or foreigners, and no student showed up. The conference was half empty.
The guests were talking (but not debating) on contemporary art market issues, but without asking the audience for a feedback. It was about wrong italian politics, auction houses expectations, statistic data for investors like the private galleries but not European museums, which can’t afford crazy prices of the market. What seemed surprising to me was that nobody was really talking about Asian or African Art market, except for giving data, and when it comes to european antiques, there’s still an old approach to the market. An eurocentric approach
But the worst fact was that NOBODY pronounced the word “ART” alone. It was all about MARKET DEALS ABOUT ART INVESTMENTS. That remembered me Sarah Thornton rules about “Top 10 reasons NOT to write about the art market”.
Here’s what she wrote about it:
“1. It gives too much exposure to artsists who attain high prices
2. It enables manipulators to publicize the artists whose prices they spike at auction
3.It never seems to lead to regulation
4.The most interesting stories are libelous
5. Oligarchs and dictators are not cool
6.Writing about the art market is painfully repetitive
7.People send you unbelievably stupid press releases
8. It implies that money is the most important thing about art
9.It amplifies the influence of the art market
10. The pay is appalling”
I must say that the ultimate news about the Art World in Italy confirm her convincing issues. I believe it is important for those who are still approaching this World to explain what Art means nowadays for our economies but I dislike the way it happens on the media or during the events. Art should be about creativity, social improvement, beauty for the collectivity, new challenges. Let’s just think about Michelangelo and Leonardo’ s masterpieces. If we let the market overcoming it all, then we won’t just lose beautiful oeuvres, but our cultural identity as well. Worst than that, we won’t be able to share the best of our culture with other civilisation like Islam, Asia, Africa.