notes on situating art practice – Krzysztof Fizalkowski lecture


(acrylic paint on paper 10 x 15 cm, from a series of small portraits of students of the Ioannou foundation)

  • how artists locate what they do in terms of context
  • what artists want from their practice: (1) what is the art world, who controls it (2) how does art relate to value and economy (3) art practice, a system or industry
  • are artists outside of a value system? we are attracted to art because it is not part of  a rigid system / on the other hand art has value / also art looks as impossible to be categorised but at the same time art is keen on economics
  • do artists make the art world: (1) dealers (create value but also structure and meanings), (2) art fairs, (3) collectors (create demand for art), (4) critics, historians, (5) magazines, publishers, (6) audience in a wider sense (7) financial bodies funding the art, (8) websites, (9) studios and artists networks, (11) educational institutions
  • so where do you stand in this, art can constitute a number of practices, have to reach people
  • distinction between medium and practice
  • art cannot be quantified, so how can we price it?
  • value vs exchange value
  •  art practice as the place that creates exchange value (eg magazines)
  • art fairs / how galleries represent artists
  • museums seem to epitomise what is considered art / they are close to a form of entertainment, sometimes art exhibits are not the most important, but also the building, entertainment applications etc
  • corporations supporting art (Tate, Sainsburys, Saatchi)
  • example of art gallery where walls have been removed so that you could see what the staff worked on / as a reference how the audience is affected by the staff’s contribution
  • the idea that artists take on spaces in groups so that they can present their work without anyone interfering
  • art dealing with commercial products / Andy Warhol
  • art as commodity / commodification of art
  • Joseph Cornell, finding objects, exhibiting them, making them important
  • the object in art / Marcel Duchamp, the ready made
  • Damien Hirst’s Diamond Skull



testing boundaries – notes – seminar with Les / 08.01.2018


  • how does the place becomes the context
  • how and where work is experienced as important
  • “framing” the work / factor of finishness
  • changes of meaning: (1) towels dried vs. towels on sunbeds as means of ownership (2) door mats in a shop as commodity vs placed in front of doors / think where the work will go, the place – then create the work
  • library is about access, accessible experience, not as restricted as in a museum, exhibits behind glass, on plinths, not allowed to touch
  • things on the floor, honest to themselves
  • the table: the domestic as part of  a gallery space / people might pick them up
  • the home / more personal
  • artist’s books / more personal, can be transportive
  • internet as a space
  • Instagram / platform for making work
  • intervention in a space when making an installation
  • it is important where you place the work / makes audience understand the meaning.

testing boundaries 4 – Anika Yi / Guggenheim NY exhibition April 2017


1 (accessed 13.01.2018)

extract for the website above

… Force Majeure, for which Yi has constructed a large room behind glass, somewhere between a bathhouse and a hospital clinic. The space’s walls and floor are covered in white tiles that have been turned into a breeding ground for various bacteria, which—fed on agar and allowed to sprawl and evolve—turn each tile into unpredictable abstract paintings. Each berry-bright smear or stain has its own gross allure.

“We sequenced the bacteria, and selected certain ones for their aesthetic quality,” Yi says. “As our nutritional biologist would tell you, each bacteria has a color, and that color has a function. There’s a reason for that purple in a purple bacteria.” …

testing boundaries 3 – natural prevention of bacteria

(accessed 06.01.2018)

Came across this video on FB about use of indigo in Japan (dates back in the 1600s) as a means of natural prevention of bacteria. Reminded me of the use of 17th century France / cleanliness meant how frequent they changed their linen shirt / believed linen pulled dirt as magnet.