Is Contemporary Art in Crisis, or Will Crisis Save Contemporary Art?
Last year, after the dust had cleared from the meteoric crash of the contemporary art world, there was the distinct feeling that the party had ended. But has it?
Lately, famous works have gone unsold even at rock bottom prices. Publicly-funded exhibits from China to Iceland have been stopped mid-development, and galleries wait with baited breath to see if they will still be around by the end of the year.
The recent economic downturn can be felt everywhere. But one place where the lack of capital has been less obvious to the untrained eye is the art world, which has always been known for its pluck and resourcefulness in lean times. In recent years there has been much talk about how money was destroying art. The question now is, what effect will the lack of money have on art?
As history has shown, a classic piece of art, much like a family heirloom, will always retain its value even in a wildly unpredictable marketplace. At the European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, Gallerists and collectors are banking on this reasoning by offering sure bets such as a Van Gogh landscape, multiple period Picassos and articles which once belonged to Yves Saint Laurent—a big seller at a recent Christie’s auction.
RoseLee Goldberg, director of performance art biennial Performa thinks that the contemporary art world will have to do some in depth soul searching to determine how contemporary art will fare post-downturn. “We’re asking, What is the role of art? What is its capacity to introduce a new humanism or a new esthetics? The kind of art we’ve been looking at for the past ten years is incredibly sophisticated, but it’s really been driven by a loaded market,” she says.
Indeed, crisis may catalyze innovation, but only if artists are galvanized to look critically at the world around them—something which was conspicuously absent during the Bush years, when many artists were afraid to upset the status quo that was sky-rocketing the value of their work. Watch Sean Scully delve into this topic here.
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
- Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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