Friday, May 17, 2013

Big Fish of Fish Story

The  NYC art world is responding to the bigness of two male artists making big & irrelevant artworks: Paul McCarthy and Jeff Koons dueling for attention. Of the 2, McCarthy is arguably a better artist. Both sell their works for many millions of dollars. The three galleries/ gallerists showing them, Hauser & Wirth, David Zwirner and Larry Gagosian sell to very big collectors, some of whom are using art to launder money. The art often gets stored in a warehouse as one more commodities investment without further aesthetic discussion.

What is "big" art in today's world? What are big ideas? I humbly submit that the biggest idea may be to simply stop doing what we have been doing: making many babies and consuming many planets to support all those extra people. The second big idea might be to put things back where we found them- like missing fish. Apparently, easier said than done.

So, what else's big? Perhaps, the enthusiasm and commitment and success I witnessed among the people I encountered in Memphis for a better environment,

Participatory map from playing the Anthropocene Game at Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN.,  May 6, 2013
as part of Fish Story, Memphis for Memphis Social

Fish Story Memphis generated 80 blog posts on this website since November 2012, with 9 911 views; 1 room size installation at the Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN.; 1 9.5'x 28' painting on paper, almost 100 paper cut-outs of individual fish from 16 freshwater North American species; 7 13"x19" encaustic paintings on google map prints of the tributaries; 3 video tapes- 1 from a Pecha Kucha at Crosstown Arts Gallery in Memphis, TN. December 2012, 1 of a participatory mapping exercize after playing the Anthropocene Game at Crosstown Arts Gallery in May 2013 and 1 of a webcast between NYC, Memphis and Greece connecting river dots to radioactivity and fracking May 11,2013 ; 1 participatory map of what causes and cures environemntal degration; about 50 photographs of fish habitat and ecosystems taken on site in Memphis and on the Wolf River; 15 assessment evaluations and 1 hand-out, all to establish a basis to say that our world needs to pay attention to the story fish tell and pull together to save our common environment MORE than we need to extract energy to keep on the way we've been keeping on. That basis for change is the big fish I'm trying to land. I came away from Memphis happy to know that so many others are fishing in this new way.

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