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Attack of the clones, part 2

This item just appeared in Artnet News; apparently "anonymous" shows are happenin':
"ANONYMOUS" ART SHOW IN FRANKFURT The Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt is set to roll out "Anonymous: In the Future No One Will Be Famous," Oct. 31, 2006-Jan. 14, 2007. Organized by an anonymous curator and featuring a selection of anonymous artists (they have agreed not to reveal their identities for the duration of the show), the exhibition is a reaction to what participants describe as the pernicious branding of artists in the contemporary art world.

The artists have even published "Notes toward a Manifesto" (of anonymity, presumably), declaring, that "Anonymous artists wish to wriggle the status quo into a status incognitus. Their aim is to remove the increasing barbarization of thought via short circuits and fast lanes created by the marketing of artists as brands whose works have become masterpieces in ignorance of philosophy." Also available is a 160-page catalogue, edited by "anonymous" and Max Hollein -- as well as a limited-edition run of 500 catalogues with pages that are completely blank.
Harlem's Triple Candie gallery also did an "anonymous" series in 2004 and 2005, consisting of two shows by artists whose identities won't be revealed (ever, according to co-gallerist Peter Nesbett.) The curatorial intent was essentially the same--"reaction to pernicious branding of artists in the contemporary art world"--although Triple Candie framed it more thoughtfully as an issue of "how biography informs interpretation." The shows weren't obscure: one was reviewed by Ken Johnson in the New York Times and the gallerists mentioned them in an interview they gave in Flash Art interview in this summer.

While it appears the Schirn Kunsthalle either doesn't read the art press or is, um, appropriating another gallery's recently-promoted concept, the affront may not be all that severe. The fact that the Kunsthalle's artists will be revealed at the end of the show makes it more of a coy guessing game, or publicity stunt, than any kind of transgressive curatorial effort.

Attack of the clones, part 1

Update: from (the exact link is bloggered): "dear tom moody, see the catalog to the exhibition, page 19. in an interview, the anonymous curator cites this Triple Candie exhibition as being one of the many predecesors of this anonymous show. [...]" -- tom about Curated by "Anonymous" Sat, 11.11.2006 16:35

- tom moody 10-26-2006 8:35 pm [link] [20 comments]