In the comments we've been discussing the issue of presenting Paper Rad artists as individuals as opposed to promoting them as a collective. Someone asked whether the decision to do the former originated with the gallery or the artists. My reply:
I don't think it matters so much how the decision got made. Every step in the art world ends up being so strategic and fraught with importance. When I said the power of the status quo is huge, well, I'm up against it, too. All our brains are colonized by these social Darwinian ideas of individuals struggling against individuals. I think here the issue is one of mystique-building. Everyone assumes the weight of commerce and habit will eventually turn the collective into a "bunch of talented, readily identifiable individuals" so it would be cool to hold out as long as possible resisting that "inevitability." A good role model would be the musical group The Residents, who perform in masks and reveal little of their back story--I still have no idea who those people are. Who sings? Who does the writing? Are the southern accents real? Are they really from Louisiana? Are they men? WASPs? I'm sure I could figure some of that out googling but they never really made me *want* to know. We should just be listening, not nosing after "stories." And they're in music where a certain amount of ego-submersion is expected. In art you would drive the whole art-historical trainspotter structure insane if you continued year after year to thwart the all-important Alfred Barr chart of which rugged individualistic genius influenced which. This would never happen but it's nice to dream.

- tom moody 7-11-2006 7:06 pm

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