Capitalist Artist Scum
A 2-part event at Open School East, London, 2015.
Organised collaboratively with OSE Associate Artists.
A two-part forum at Open School East, chaired by Helena Reckitt, featuring presentations from a number of artists, including OSE associates, on projects that create alternative structures for the making and distribution of art or are embedded within non-art industries.
Presentations and discussions explored topics including the diminishing distinction between profit and not-for-profit galleries; appropriating spaces of consumerism and capital; the issue of whether re-instrumentalising can work as a tactic for resistance; and if these art practices are born from economic necessity or represent an emerging art practice?
As well as considering the politics and aesthetics of such projects, discussions called into question notions of parody, critique and attack. Discussions arising from presentations included whether we might be able to differentiate artistic labour from capitalist labour, and where the issues of ‘survival’ versus other forms of value accumulation and appropriation should sit in relation to the ‘work’ itself.
Participants worked towards mapping the conditions of possibility for artists living and working within advanced capitalism, and how we might situate ourselves and our work in relation to the current political and economic climate.
Capitalist Artist Scum # 1 featured presentations from DKUK, Alexander James Pollard, Leslie Kulesh, Laura Yuile, and Kristin Luke for The Air Inn Venice as well as a reading by Mathis Collins.
Capitalist Artist Scum # 2 centred around the possibility for seemingly opposing or contradictory views and ideas to co-exist within individual and collective artistic practices, as well as the structures that support and encompass these practices. Contributors discussed how such contradictions materialise, how contradiction may be embodied as a formal quality, and what the implications or effects of these might be. Considerations included ideas of seduction vs. repulsion; acceptance vs. critique; working within vs. working against; profit vs. not-for-profit; comfort vs. discomfort; pointing at the problem vs. trying to solve the problem; and use-value vs. abstraction. Contributors to Capitalist Artist Scum # 2 were Suhail Malik, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Angus Cameron, Pil & Galia Kollectiv.
For a recording of the event please click here.