Forum d´Avignon Ruhr: Is art free?
In the liberal society, art is under pressure in subtle imaginary and economic ways
We enjoy life in a free country with a lot of culture, be it sophisticated or off-beat. Gallery owner Urs Meile dissects this idyll in a highly intelligent, entertaining conversation with painter Andreas Golder. Both playfully reflect on the subtle methods of censorship, talk about the Chinese art scene, and the self-destructive potential behind the theorem of the artist as entrepreneur.
In these days of Anything Goes, only crass cases of crossing certain lines or subtle tactics by the artists meet the zeitgeist.
Urs Meile is the curator of Ai Weiwei’s work and knows how to organise exhibitions in China without any problems. „His artistic products were never discussed in any way.“ What caused the problem were „his statements regarding the situation, regarding the socio-political situation in China.“
Of course, the question „Can you make a living from that kind of work, after all?“ is also on the minds of renowned German-Russian painter Andreas Golder and the internationally successful Swiss gallery owner Urs Meile: „We always say we don’t talk about money. We talk about contents.“ Meile swears by quality. But in fact, only 0,3 % of the artists can make a decent living from their work. Berlin-based Andreas Golder warns that there even may be a trend: first, you’re an artist, then, you become a curator, and last, you’ll be a hipster in the capital of Germany…
Actress Jana Pallaske is at a loss for words when asked about the new pressure on the entrepreneurial self-conception of an artist: „Profitable? I don’t know about that…“
Text: Boris Alexander Knop