Oh, Cults
14 March 2018

The fact that the art world relies on asymmetrical relationships isn’t a surprise, but for an aspect of culture that values autonomy and individuality above almost everything else (except maybe private property) the roles of the follower are much less discussed.  The viewer, the public, the audience, the masses; these all become terms to articulate the artist’s tertiary audience (after the collector and the experts, of course) that can become entangled with problematic notions of ‘popularity’ (this is bad for the serious artist) and democratic ideas like access and equity. For The Baffler’s recent issue “Holy Orders”, I contributed an exhibition called “Oh, Cults” that looks at Institutions, Figures, and their attendant Audiences.  I myself, am a guilty practitioner of shitposting and as I responded to a student’s question at a recent artist talk,  “Yes, I am part troll.”  

The entire exhibition is spread throughout the current issue of the Baffler, which I recommend subscribing to, as well as on the website.  The prints may be available soon as a limited edition suite or as individual limited edition prints through The Baffler’s store.   Here, the high price (luxury) of original drawings meets the lower price (affordability) of prints where touch is conveyed through a graphite signature.  

 

WILLIAM POWHIDA
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