Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Simple as one, two, three, four

You may remember during the run-up to the last Walters Prize that an OTN reader claimed you could predict the judge’s choice by looking at what this selector had done and said over the past few months. With this year’s judge there's tons to choose from. Charles Esche is not your typical arts bureaucrat. He is a curator and museum leader with strong opinions and a highly developed sense of political injustice. To get a taste of Esche’s views you can:

Visit him on Facebook. Recently Esche named hard left wing British politician Tony Benn as a formative influence on him and reproduced on Facebook Benn’s famous five questions to ask the powerful (Q5: How can we get rid of you?). He's also a generous linker, always with an opinion like "good article here...there really is no 'Dutch consensus' between racism and anti-racism...either you want to continue celebrating white domination over other people, albeit unconsciously, or you don't. I vote for not doing it anymore.."

Follow him on Twitter:

Read his many interviews and discussions: Some are online with Esche constantly questioning his position on art and the role of the museum world. His view? “Art should be about doubts, relationships, questions - about opening up spaces, people and knowledge.”

So it’s kind of easy. Charles Esche will be looking for a work that is socially aware, takes a strong point of view and is posing important questions about contemporary life. Oh, oh…. That’s all four of them.

Image: word cloud constructed from a Charles Esche's interview on contemporary art