Thursday, October 14, 2010

Comin' right at you

Toward the end of 1991 we worked with Julian Dashper to produce a couple of ads in the American magazine Artforum. Julian’s idea was that he'd exhibit in the magazine as a way round the prohibitive costs of exhibiting in the traditional centres of art from New Zealand. His two pages were an attempt to mimic the Artforum style and slip under the editorial radar without readers noticing (until it was too late that is!). 

Julian named the project Artfrom New Zealand - presented in the Artforum logo style of course. After much debate the magazine insisted on labelling the pages as advertisements. While it's hard to believe these two pages could subvert their editorial position, the folks at Artforum certainly thought they were in with a chance. To get round at least part of this restriction we reproduced one of the pages as an illustration on the page itself, which in turn reproduced that page and so on. It was like the endlessly repeating Arnott's biscuit tin. On those repeated pages the word advertisement was dropped and by this subterfuge, those mini-pages at least, slipped past the magazine’s editor. A small victory we thought at the time, but still a victory. 

And all this to segue into an initiative by American artist Jeff Thompson to give artists the opportunity to show their work in the very same mag. Thompson has divided up the page he intends purchasing into 4,200 tiny spaces and is selling them off to artists at $US1.50 a pop. You can get your work - albeit pint-sized - into Artforum by going here and fronting up with the ding. The last time we checked there were still 3827 places left.