Saturday, 21 April 2012

”Art for art’s sake, money for god’s sake…”

On Tuesday evening, one of my artworks was burnt in a gallery in Naples, Italy.
Oh, how I wish this were Tracy Emin speaking, or Damian Hirst.

But it’s not. It’s Séverine Bourguignon, a French artist. And she’s referring to this:
Antonio Manfredi, director of the Casoria Contemporary Art Museum (Cam) has been destroying works from his collection in order to draw attention to the plight of his institution, which is in desperate need of financial help from regional, national or European authorities.
I think regional, national and European authorities have far greater priorities than a few paintings, Séverine.

I really, really do..
Seeing my work go up in flames was extremely painful and I am in mourning. But in some way it did not belong to me any more. I never thought of its commercial value and it is a political act to destroy it.
I think the director thought of its ‘commercial value’. I think he thought it was nil…
I hope that this action will help the Italian government reconsider Cam's situation. Without funds, Cam will be closed and its collection will effectively cease to exist.
So put up your prices. Or sell the artwork to raise funds, rather than burning them.

Didn’t that occur to anyone? Or…is it that they really have no value?
But the closure of Manfredi's gallery is not just bad news for artists: Cam is located in a socially deprived part of Naples, and museums are not only dedicated to educated people and tourists. If Cam is forced to close its doors, it would be bad news for the local people of Naples too.
If enough of them flocked to the museum or sponsored a painting or two, it wouldn’t be in the financial mess, would it?

Since they evidently don’t

9 comments:

dfordoom said...

I'd be delighted if the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney followed Séverine's example. I'd love to see some of the angry hideous "art" there go up in flames.

Anonymous said...

Plod burning their own at the stake could earn them public sympathy. Well, eventually.

Anonymous said...

That would make a good picture anon.

Animal man

Hexe Froschbein said...

Meh, he could have at least picked something ugly and not one of the rare pictures that actually look nice enough to hang in a living room.

Hexe, whose favorite work of art is by Joseph Beuys and used to hang in the hallway of a friend. It's a cheese, sealed under glass, merrily rotting away. It's the only modern artwork I know of that actually conveys meaning and is interesting to look at repeatedly. :-D

Anonymous said...

@dfordoom

I paid a visit to the MCA when I lived in Sydney. An incredibly underwhelming experience IIRR. That was a few years back now but a quick browse of their website reveals not a lot has changed.

Go google folks. Taxpayers' money at work.

nisakiman said...

"Seeing my work go up in flames was extremely painful and I am in mourning. But in some way it did not belong to me any more."

Ah, the anguished artiste speaks.

I googled her, and at first glance her stuff seemed not bad. Then I noticed it was all (or nearly all) "Polaroïd manipulé", which is a bit like unmade beds and pickled sharks really.

So the burning thereof is no great loss to humanity's store of art I wouldn't have thought.

And yes, a "deprived part of Naples" is not really the best place to locate an avant garde gallery. I'm sure the locals had more important issues to deal with.

ranter said...

I don't know much about art BUT I know what I like!

isn't this incident in itself 'ART'? A raw, physical piece of human interaction, screaming, visceral and encapsulating the urban frustrations of anywhere and everywhere.


(with help from Pseuds Corner)

JuliaM said...

"I'd be delighted if the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney followed Séverine's example."

Unless the Guggenheim's changed radically since I was last there (about 15/16 years ago) they can torch that too...

"Meh, he could have at least picked something ugly and not one of the rare pictures that actually look nice enough to hang in a living room."

With modern art, you'd think he'd be spoiled for choice.

"isn't this incident in itself 'ART'?"

Many commenters suggested the pile of ashes should be entered for the Turner Prize!

dfordoom said...

Many commenters suggested the pile of ashes should be entered for the Turner Prize!

It may well be worth more as a pile of ashes than it was before!