Saturday, December 3, 2011

The art opening experience made over as art

Grant Stevens has been commissioned by Sydney's MCA to make a video work for the museum foyer to sit alongside the piece by Imants Tillers' featuring the names of the MCA's patrons. For between $1,000 and $20,000, a new generation of patrons can see their names in the video with its audio component echoing the conversations that might be heard at an opening.

Stevens says he is less interested in the politics of patronage than in drawing out the sometimes uncomfortable conversations between people in personal and social settings. "The starting point for the work is thinking about the experience of attending openings, specifically MCA openings, and my personal associations with the Imants Tillers painting in the foyer," he says. "Hovering above the crowds...the work has a slightly intimidating presence for me. It is a reminder that art's history is intrinsically linked with people and money."
Image: Grants Stevens, Crushing (2009), video still