Register Tuesday | September 22 | 2020

Photo Auction

From Concordia

Some cool cats from Concordia will be exhibiting their work at a silent auction on Thursday January 27th at the VAV Gallery

VA-033. 1395 Rene Levesque Ouest. We should all go.

The undergraduate students in their final year of photography at Concordia University propose an exhibition that examines the role of consumerism in the art world. The show will consist of photographs selected from the work of graduating students. A silent auction of the works will take place for the duration of the exhibition and will conclude at a closing ceremony on Friday evening. This will create a performative aspect that will emphasize the issues regarding art and consumption. Artist statements, résumés, mock interviews and reviews, and 'media kits' will also be constructed or performed. This will emphasize the influences that reputation, track records, critics, advertising, curatorial hyping and other art world strategies have on transforming art into products with economic value.

Through the show, we will raise questions regarding the commercial aspect of artistic production. Although grants and artist residencies offer financial support, the market reality needs to be confronted. Emerging artists, like us, will inevitably be confronted with the cycle of production and consumption. If an artist's work does not sell, it will limit their ability to produce. How will the need to make money influence our work? Will considering the marketability of photographs compromise our artistic integrity? This show will simulate realistic conditions in an exaggerated manner as a method of exploring ideas, provoking questions, and critiquing the role of the market in the art world.

We will also host a round table discussion in which emerging artists, established artists, graduate students, critics, curators, and teachers will participate. Along the lines of an artist talk, it will be a dynamic discussion aimed at raising issues and posing questions that are essential for artists to consider. A representative from a commercial gallery, as well as a board member from an artist run centre, will be invited to attend the round table in an effort to stimulate opposing viewpoints and spark debate. Jean-Francois Belisle, a graduate student in the art history program at Concordia, will host this discussion.

All of the funds raised by the silent auction will go towards the undergraduate photography students in their final year to assist them in the realization of a major collective project. The exhibition will explore and enact theories relating to art and consumption while subsidizing the students' artistic production, thus helping them to negotiate the economic constraints of the art world.