Archive for December, 2009

Market – “Lard for l’Art”

In her essay “Lard for l’Art”, Laura Prins discusses market developments in the art world of nineteenth century France. Prins gives a historical account of the practice and strategies of art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel and thus identifies a predecessor to more recent protagonists of the art market. Click here to read the essay.

Market – Conflicts of Interest

Discussing the Outset/Frieze Art Fair Fund, Stefaan Vervoort focuses on the egalitarian model of the art fair. Vervoort shows how this philanthropic construction creates symbolic value through the institution, thereby perverting the public model with the institutional mechanics it promises to renounce. Click here to read the essay.

Market – Hype Park

The tension caused by the double value of art was explicitly noticeable at the 2009 Frieze Art Fair in London. In his essay, Martijn van Beek describes his experience of the fair, which was overshadowed by the notion of hyping. Emphasising the young, hip and fast, the artworks were sold at such a speed that there was no time for reflection. Moreover, van Beek identifies two distinct types of art history present at the fair. Click here to read the essay.

Market – Untitled

Jane Boddy reviews Andrea Fraser’s video piece Untitled and its presence in the current Pop Life exhibition at Tate Modern, London (2009-2010). Boddy examines how Fraser addresses the old metaphor of the prostitute/artist and the client/collector and how this reflects on the art value of the work and where it resides. Click here to read the essay.

Market – Double Standard

Considering notions of parity and exclusivity within the late 1960s marketing practice of Seth Siegelaub, Elise Noyez tracks how first generation Conceptual art dealt with the market. Contrary to popular belief, Noyez argues, Conceptual art was not a clear or uncensored reaction against the existing art market but rather an attempt to reconsider it. Click here to read the essay.

Exhibition – Wild Thing

Jane Boddy reviews the current exhibition on Epstein, Gaudier-Brzeska and Gill at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. Focusing on Epstein’s Rock Drill (1913) and its remakes, Boddy explains how a recent exhibition tries to make a spectacle out of an early twentieth-century sculpture and in the process disregards the artist’s intentions. Click here to read the essay.

Exhibition – Trashy Politics

When Giuliani, then mayor of New York, publicly criticised the Sensation exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum (1999), Hans Haacke commented on what he called a “violation of the First Amendment” with the work Sanitation (2000). Reviewing this work in relation to the rest of Haacke’s socially and politically engaged oeuvre, Laura Prins argues its problematic nature. Click here to read the essay.


This website is the outcome of the course Critical Issues in the Cultural Industries, supervised by prof. Wouter Davidts within the context of the Visual Arts, Media & Architecture MPhil program at VU University Amsterdam. Contributors to the site are the first and second year students of the research master enrolled in the course.