An example of the so-called “press” comments at the website of Parallax Art Fair, yet another in the seemingly endless parade of parasitic vanity venues for people who can’t really hack it but like to maintain the affectation that they’re artists:
“I have been an ‘artaholic’ all my life– first as an artist then tapestry designer, then gallery owner for 25 years– and this blew me over!! I am sending word to everyone I know would be interested. Keep it going—!” – Visitor, SW6″
Ah, Visitor SW6, that well known journal of record for the art world. Careful, that artahol will kill you in the end. You’ll start caching artahol around the house and behind the books, artahol before breakfast just to feel functional and stabilised. You’ll think that people don’t know about what you imagine is a super secret artahol habit, but they do know. Perhaps it was the huge intake of artahol that made it so easy for her to be blown over. You know, like when Dean Martin said you’re not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on.
Is that “Keep it going —!” a bowdlerisation of a particularly unpleasant expletive, as in a Victorian novel? Probably not, but I’d still like to imagine the middle aged Visitor SW6 exclaiming “Keep it going, shit-munching motherfuckers!” or “Keep it going cuntflaps!”
The other comments are “Amazing Art Fair!” (sic)– incisive critique indeed by “A Visitor”– and several paragraphs of drivelling platitudes by suspiciously unnamed exhibitors AKA customers. Hint to Parallax AF: your press clippings should actually be from the press, and a listing saying effectively “this event is on at such and such a time” also doesn’t count as press. (Quote) “Parallax AF is different from other artists’ fairs in that it is like a specialised exhibition based on new ideas drawn from the philosophy of Art History.” It’s, like, totally specialised, yeah? In addition to my confusion at their curatorial statement being inexplicably couched in this strange Tween girl lingo, I also don’t know what it means. Is Art History a philosophy? Isn’t art history, well… history? Surely an idea from history is by definition historical, not new?
Parallax AF is like other artists fairs that aren’t really artists’ fairs in the sense that it has overqualified and underemployable young women trawling the internet for potential marks, it has a sketchy-looking website, badly designed publicity material, an even more dubious parent page, the thing they’re calling an art fair takes place in crappy venues with no credibility whatsoever, the whole thing stinks of Trustafarians with MBAs and loose morals, and also in the sense that yes, of course artists pay between £70 and £570 + VAT and all their own expenses for the privilege of being involved in something something great opportunity something alongside a bunch of other randoms with more money than sense.
This is another in a long and tiresome list of unwelcome and insulting invitations to hand money over to shady art schemes. A certain Amreen Khan (who seems to be a young artist herself who’s decided to blot her copybook right on the first page by getting involved with this cowboy operation) made the mistake of harvesting my name and contact details from the Contemporary Art Society website, but apparently not bothering to spend a few minutes on Google to discover how often here on this blog, in talks, in teaching or mentoring and at Market Project I dismember and eat for breakfast greedy, exploitative pigs who make a business from harvesting the desperation of inexperienced, naive people who want to be artists. I’d venture to include Ms. Khan in this latter category as well, since she’s doing somebody else’s dirty work and probably being paid little or nothing for her pains on the promise of seeing some proper money at some unspecified point in the future, or of filling up her as yet sparse CV. I’m on the Contemporary Art Society site because I’m a professional artist with a certain amount of credibility and a track record of working in critically engaged contemporary arts. That means people buy my work, I’m paid to show my work and/or I’m commissioned and paid to make it. Being a professional artist means I don’t pay to exhibit my work.
You can download an information PDF from their site. It includes a FAQ, but I was surprised to find that one of the frequently asked questions isn’t “what the fuck?”