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Bradshaw Foundation - Latest News
The Art World Goes Dark
Friday 27 March 2020

An article by Jerry Saltz on vulture.com - The Art World Goes Dark - reflects on the current crisis. Galleries and museums have gone dark all over the world.

An extract of this article is offered here from the perspective of ancient rock art.

Art World Goes Dark reflects current crisis Galleries museums ancient rock
Rock art of Game Pass Shelter in South Africa.

'No one knows what the economic damages will be, or how totally the art world will be remade. This is a complex infrastructure made up of people at every economic level, all but a cadre of them living precarious lives in the best of times — dependent on the patronage of the very wealthy, but not themselves secure at all. Things could return to quasi normal when galleries open again — indeed, the art world soared after the market collapse of 2008 and 2009, as inequality accelerated and money sought refuge in the so-called safer vessels of art (art, safe?!?). Prices skyrocketed at the top, megagalleries mushroomed, and all the rest. But it’s also possible that, this time, numerous non-megagalleries won’t make it through to whatever the other side of this storm will look like.

Perhaps, whole small art scenes will be economically wiped out. Either way, many who work in and around art will lose jobs and health insurance. If buyers aren’t buying and people aren’t seeing art, teaching jobs are suspended and employment curtailed, what happens to the already fragile financial support systems artists depend on? Art will go on. It always has. All we know is that everything is different; we don’t know how, only that it is. The unimaginable is now reality.

That’s the rub. Art’s primary metaphysical building block is that which has never been imagined. This is why I can say — and know — that art will go on. The reason is that art is an advanced abstract operating system devised for imagining the unseen, gleaning the group mind, a tool to invent new protocols, experience rapture from form, explore consciousness, map reality, create constellations of unspoken communication that echo across millennia — things that never change but that are different for every person who sees it, and is even different every time we look at the same work. This is because art is the ability to embed the unimaginable in material. Creativity is a survival strategy; it’s in every bone in our bodies, and always has been'.

click here to read the full article

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