Posted on 21 October 2011 as a reply to #3
I think you make a very good point James; the issue of commercial recognition/ success, and how artists negotiate their position based on their proximity to the art market.
Historically, art collectives such as General Idea made work in direct opposition to the corporatized art market, which promoted the work, careers and lifestyles of the solo artist. Issues of classification and authorship, even to this day, have proved too problematic for buyers. They challenged the modernist legacy of the 'art object' and the artist:- an imaginary persona; colourful, bohemian, with 'mysterious appeal for the working classes'..
Shifts in art practice since the 1960's have placed increasing emphasis on societal relations and the 'collective imagination', and there has been a recent re-incarnation of the 'liberating potentiality' of the group format. I suppose my text aims to articulate my concern that artist-led activity such as the pop-up gallery is in danger of becoming a fashionable, superfical version of its former self. As Fiona quite rightly pointed out, the term in itself is problematic, as it almost suggests a willingness to be re-cooperated into the mainstream from the outset. As we have seen over the last few years, institutional curiosity about collective practice has become an exhibtion spectacle. But most artists wouldn't turn down a chance to exhibit at Tate Modern, and why should they?
To return to your reference to Thomas Hirschhorn, there is, of course, the potetial for dual or multiple spaces to be carved out within an artist's career, but this must be mediated with a capacity to reflect critically on one's own means and methods of production.
In Claire Bishop's text on Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics, she states that Hirschhorn "provides a mode of artistic experience more adequate to the divided and incomplete subject of today".