|Abstract or Description:
Curated group exhibition of international artists, public events programme, and publication, 'What Business Are You In?' presented work by artists who insert themselves into institutional structures and/or mimic the language and practices of business and academia. The exhibition offered a prescient analysis of art’s shared ground with the customer-oriented nature of academia, and the performative nature of business, underscoring artists’ ambivalent and codependent relationships with both.
Artists’ relationships with the corporate and academic worlds are complex and often contradictory. Far from the myth of the romantic outsider, most artists depend on the support of institutions and corporations, much as they did on the aristocracy or church in the past. As artists engage in self-promotion and branding, and outsource the production of their work, the ground shared by art, higher education, and commerce becomes clear.
Some artists immerse themselves in business life to revitalize the idea of what art is and might be. While some use mimicry in order to insert themselves within corporate or academic culture, other artists take an anthropological approach, treating the university or the corporation as their subject matter.
Unlike first generation conceptual artists, whose tactics developed in tandem with - and were often absorbed by - the mass media, many of the artists showing in “What Business Are You In?” are not operating as strictly oppositional. Instead, by highlighting the codependence of individuals and organizations, they explore the moral ambiguities and strategic identifications demanded in our ideologically impure times.
What Business Are You In? presents artists from Britain, Germany, Sweden and the US working with photography, sculpture, video, performance, and installation. Quizzical, playful, and self-critical they explore the slippery definitions of art, artist, and entrepreneur.
Michael Aurbach (Nasvhille, TN), Alex Bag (New York, NY), Andrea Fraser (New York, NY), Jason Irwin (New York, NY), Gunilla Klingberg (Stockholm, Sweden), Lucy Kimbell (London, England), Irene Moon (Lexington, KY), Christian Philipp Müller (New York, NY and Franfurt, Germnay), Adrian Piper (USA), John Salvest (Jonesboro, AK), Carey Young (London, England).
Public events include:
Irene Moon’s performance of “My Queen and I” during the opening reception
Christian Philipp Müller Artist's Talk (Free)
Monday, January 31, 5 pm
Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University
Christian Philipp Müller
Carey Young Artist's Talk at the Contemporary (Free)
Wednesday, February 16, 7 pm
This exhibit was funded in part by the College Art Association, the British Council, and International Artists Studio Program in Stockholm
The College Art Aasociation held the opening reception for their 2005 conference at the Contemporary on February 18, 2005. Irene Moon presented a performance from “Scientifically Speaking” during the Artists’ Reception and again during the CAA event.