press release


The Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina, CCCS, at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy, will present from 14 November 2008 to 11 January 2009:

ART, PRICE AND VALUE – Contemporary art and the market, curated by the critic Piroschka Dossi, author of Hype! Kunst und Geld, Deutsche Taschenbuch Verlag 2007, and Franziska Nori, project director of the CCCS.

The exhibition will examine the increased links between contemporary art and the international market. The power now exerted by the economy on political, social and cultural life has extended its hold on art production so that the whole system is undergoing a complete transformation in response to the demands of an increasingly global market. Contemporary art plays an ever more prominent role in our culture. Its economic power is reflected in the exorbitant prices now reached at international auctions and in the increased popularity of exhibitions, biennales, festivals, shows and mega-happenings.

In the last twenty years contemporary art has become a specialized industry with its own rules and a network of professional operators. Artists are drawn into the international dynamics of a highly competitive system. This places them in competition with artists from widely different backgrounds but demands they speak a global and commercial language. There has been a drastic change in the rules: witness the impact of the emergence of contemporary Chinese art on the market. In recent years with the growing interest of collectors, galleries and institutions in the west it has become the ideal environment for speculators. With pressing demands for the new and sensational, the process of production and commercialization is speeded up but art is also increasingly drawn into mass culture and commerce.

The exhibition will feature the work of contemporary artists which throws light on the mechanisms of the international art system. The selection explores different points of view, ranging from complete conformity to the prevailing rules of the market to irony and sarcasm and even to an 'anti-market' stance taken by those anxious to avoid the commercial aspects of the art market entirely. Artists, whose work may be included, are Luchezar Boyadjiev (Bulgaria), Marco Brambilla (USA), Marc Bijl (Netherlands), Fabio Cifariello (Italy), Claude Closky (France), Denis Darzacq (France), Eva Grubinger (Germany), Pablo Helguera (Mexico), Damien Hirst (UK), Bethan Huws (UK), Christian Jankowski (Germany), Michael Landy (UK), Atelier van Lieshout (Netherlands), Thomas Locher (Austria), Aernout Mik (Netherlands), Takashi Murakami (Japan) Antoni Muntadas (Spain), Josh On (USA), Dan Perjovschi (Rumania), Wilfredo Prieto (Cuba) and Cesare Pietroiusti (Italy).

The exhibition will be accompanied by a bilingual (Italian/English) catalogue published by Silvana Editoriale in which all the art works will be documented along with essays written by the curators: Dr Boris Groys (professor of Aesthetics, Art History, and Media Theory, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, University of Karlsruhe); Pier Luigi Sacco (professor of Economy of Culture, IUAV, Venice); Julian Stallabrass (reader in modern and contemporary art, Courtauld Institute of Art, London); and Wolfgang Ullrich (professor of art history and media theory, University of Karlsruhe). The project will also be complemented by a lecture programme to stimulate an interdisciplinary debate on the topics addressed by the show.