Issue #4 Introduction
Times are bad. We see local galleries close and institutions selling their collections. There is financial fraud at nonprofits, “underperforming” auction houses, decreased ad revenue in art magazines, empty booths at art fairs, shrinking state funding, and hiring freezes at art schools. Layoffs and cutbacks are pretty much everywhere.
The upside of all the turmoil in the economy could lead to some interesting phenomena. Maybe it will trim the fat off top heavy art organizations. Perhaps the crashing of the art market will help us rid ourselves of dealers and collectors who are in it just for the money. And possibly all this will change how we define the market. We can use this opportunity to get back to our creative roots, making work and connections while strengthening and expanding our communities. Maybe the structure of the art hierarchy is slowly shifting towards the place where it all began – the Artist.
As much as Proximity would love a crystal ball to predict the future, we can’t really be sure what is going to happen next. However, we can think of models to help us maintain fruitful art practices and offer creative strategies to help weather this, the most destructive economic storm of our time.
So this issue of Proximity features everything from a guide to art in Belgrade to a review of a show in St. Louis. Interviews with big thinkers like Chip Lord and Theaster Gates. Pieces by great writers like Caroline Picard and Erika Mikkalo and James Kennedy. There’s a featherproof mini-book for your morning commute and a bread recipe for when you make it back home.
Want more? Check out Proximity’s sister publications, Matériel (www.materielmag.com) and Pr, a sweet broadsheet with reviews and a calendar. We’re printing it in-between issues of Proximity, with all the content posted here on-line. And each Spring we will be putting out the (Con)Temporary Art Guide Chicago. If you are lucky
you got one with this issue.
And, to further aid us in this challenge ahead, we are delighted to print Joseph Del Pesco’s interview with San Francisco Bay Area curator/poet Renny Pritikin. We believe it will help us better define our revamped roles and create a newly active and healthy art ecology together.
We know what we have to do next. Do you?
See you on campus,
Ed and Rachael
We are sorry that Issue #4 is sold out.