I love seeing people getting excited about the opening of the Armory. Or la Fiac. Or Art Basel. Frieze. Arco (thought this one was long gone, but nope.) I love to see people getting excited about fairs with their core enthusiasm revolving around the highly intellectual feeling of « I’m part of it. I’m cool too. » Everyone can, could, would, should, oughta have some interest for the arts. Art. Contemporary art. That’s today’s trend. And I think, it could, should, would bring out some very interesting points of views from a wider audience reflecting onto artworks. Because fashion journalists, selectors and DJs, and people whose occupations and hobbies have remained mysterious to me, also have something to say about art. Or, should, would, could, oughta. Na. It’s just cool to be there. You have to be there if you want to be recognized as part of that world. You have to be there, and be seen there, even though the majority of people you’ll run into will have nothing to say about the art presented. Nothing that will make me a bit less ignorant then when I walked in, anyway.
And for the past 6 years, I’ve kept on going there. Not because it’s my job. Not because I have to, or wanna be seen there. Not because I dream of meeting fantastic artsy people who will further my career and appetite for power in any way. Please. I keep on going there because it’s tastier than going to an opera-bouffe show. It’s everything that’s so good about junk food. And drugs. And alcohol. And a quickie in the bathroom of that new club. And so, an art fair opening night goes like this: 1. It’s the rush of excitement thinking of what awesome shit might happen, 2. It’s the absolute and cheap high (that doesn’t really last) of actually being there, surrounded by people blabbing such nonsense you could close your eyes and swear they are cartoon characters, 3. It’s the coming down hard once you’ve realized you really did lose your time - and two cab fares.
Seriously though. Who really goes to the fair when you have to pay, and be with « regular people », at « regular hours ». No fucking way. My absolute dream, since no one is asking, is this: there’s a list at the door. And we are welcomed with open arms -and some real champagne. And we are invited to spend the night surrounded by kindred spirits, brighter than us; others who belong here for their passion and love and understanding of art, artists, artworks. Others who will start a conversation and will draw our attention to something we had never thought of, never seen, never envisioned, or were too self-conscious to express in public. Others who will make everything better by having higher expectations: for their surroundings, the company they keep, and the art they chose to collect, critic, review, exhibit.
Until then, lucky me, I can walk that walk and enjoy the insights of my dear Paolo Canevari, like we did a couple of years ago. Holy Moly. I hope he's free that night.