While browsing the web yesterday I came across a Twitter post from whoever manages the The Art Market Twitter account, sharing an article on Artsy about new art and design fair in Brooklyn called Object & Thing.
The fair’s idea of not charging for booths and only taking a percentage from every sale is really interesting and might even make the fair accessible to some smaller galleries, which otherwise couldn’t afford to be in such a place — making the price range of the works to be shown quite wide, from 500€ to 50.000€.
But the thing that stuck out like a fat splinter in my pinky was the language used:
“Object & Thing will present examples of both art and design together, in order to share a fresh perspective on what an object can be…”
I of course replied, helpful as one wants to be in such situations, with the link to the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the word object. While it seems banal, I find that such articles are the perfect example of what is wrong with the higher echelons of art production and collecting.
The language used is so ambivalent, so pretentious at times that one can’t but feel like this grand exhibition will finally explain the troublesome and convoluted problems, that we as a society face regarding our inability to understand what an object is.
In the end, it’s probably going to be a chair or a weirdly shaped sculpture, made out of either really expensive materials or junk. Or they might shock us and make an amalgamation of both, thus showing that we really did in fact not know what an object can look like.
I do hope all of us, who are yet to see the upper levels of the skyscraper that is the art world, won’t fall in this linguistic trap and make our texts, conversations and statements accessible to the average person, rather than overly complex convolutions.
Because, my guess is people in the upper penthouses might actually have forgotten the fact that language can and should communicate more than just the superiority of the writer towards the reader.
If even incredible intellectuals like Nitsche and Dostoevsky are able to tell their stories in palatable and simple words, I’m sure we all can too.