A L E X G A W R O N S K I

Missing Wallet

Missing Wallet, 2014

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Alex Gawronski: Missing Wallet, 2014

The Institute of Contemporary Art Newtown (ICAN), Sydney

(Acrylic, canvas, timber, aluminium, digital photograph on cotton rag)

Long gone are the days when reality for the artist was out ‘there’, in the ‘real world’. Today the vastly expanded Culture Industry would seem to constitute the ‘natural’ environment of the contemporary artist, superseding the implicit notion that art is merely representational in a gallery or other institutional contexts. Still, pointing to the nature of contemporary art’s fundamental embedding in the dominant ecology of the art world tends to be frowned upon: the illusion of the ‘magic’ of art needs to be maintained as a defense against recognition of its dissimulatory structuring. Maintaining this illusion also serves to defend against compromising revelations of the representational dimension of the market. In Missing Wallet, exhibition content was drawn primarily from art magazines as indicative of the true cultural environment of contemporary art. However, rather than taking the world presented by art magazines as real, this exhibition deliberately toyed with the types of representational tropes they promote. In doing so, it suggested the essential arbitrariness and hierarchical aspects of the art world which is aimed, if not exactly clearly then at least undeniably, more than ever, at the greater reality of the global art market.

Written by alex gawronski

January 11, 2015 at 7:42 PM