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"taboo" exhibitions

updated thu 15 apr 99


Erin Hayes on wed 14 apr 99

Hi All!

In his recent post, Ralph said, "We do not conform to the academia's
rules and this is taboo, so we refrain from those exhibitions where they are
in control."

Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't this what we all do in some way? I mean if I
have a sculptural work and I know the juror is a production potter, or seems
in past jurying experiences to have preferred functional ware, I would steer
clear of that show because it is perhaps a bad risk of entry fees.

I know that some of the work I did in grad school would not have been
welcome at local or regional craft exhibitions, and I never really expected
it to be.

Ralph's word choice in using "taboo" bothers me a little, only because it
seems to buy into the stereotype that the art world is some kind of
quasi-religious priesthood. Of course in some ways this is true, and that's
why the stereotype persists. But that sort of elitism exists everywhere -
it's human nature. To reinforce the stereotype only makes it more pervasive.
To ascribe it only to art is to single out artists for more of the same
mistrust and suspicion that many of us have experienced to varying degrees.

My only real point here is that bias in exhibitions is to be expected
because human beings choose the work to go in. I repeat my statement from
an earlier post that much of the so-called "academic" ambience of some
exhibitions can be extremely off-putting. But to expect that all work would
be welcome or appropriate for all exhibitions is unrealistic.

Just my opinion, as always.