Tom Moody on Seth Price

by Art Fag City on February 25, 2008 · 8 comments Events

price.jpg
Seth Price, Installation view, 2008, Friedrich Petzel Gallery

Tom Moody on Seth Price,

Time Out, reviewing an earlier Price exhibit, quoted Marcel Broodthaers that art occurs “in the field of distribution,” implying that’s what Price is doing. Yet if “Dispersion,” the essay, has a point it’s that the distribution must occur within the art system because artists’ attempts to market directly to the public, or to the wrong public (i.e., music consumers) fail for lack of context, as in Duchamp’s effort to sell his rotoreliefs at a toy inventors’ fair. Thus, Price’s “dispersion” is through limited edition books at Printed Matter, pdf files on ubuweb, and sales to elite collectors at Petzel. The contradiction between the populist “dispersion” rhetoric and making broadly available commodities (“jpegs”) limited for the gallery trade isn’t a fatal flaw so much as tapping guilt-as-usual about participating in the system. Current curatorial practice demands that artists prove they’re not making work for selfish reasons and are helping The People, man.

Moody’s thoughts are worth some reflection, because he not only identifies the artist’s belief in  working within familiar art channels for distribution to occur, but points out that this “tapping guilt” in participating in that system is common. The post as a whole is an excellent summation of Price’s influences, and content, while also evaluating the success and failures of the exhibition.

I have only one minor point of disagreement; In an earlier paragraph Moody describes Disappearing In America, the text Price wrote to accompany the show, as having nothing to do with the exhibition. Given that the majority of the show focuses on the invisibility of the artist’s hand, and the removal of the body while performing an action of any kind, I can’t believe that the text detailing how to remove yourself from society has nothing to do with the show. The exhibition to my mind, is a literal depiction of that idea.

Those who wish to read the manuscript discussed can purchase Disappearing In America from Friedrich Petzel shortly (which I recommend — the book is beautiful, but still at the printers).  They can also  simply contact the gallery for “bootleg” copy/ PDF file at  info@petzel.com.

  • Michelle Obama

    The analysis in that Tom Moody quote is off.

    It takes a narrow slice out of the arguments that run through Price’s work and essays and takes them out of context to make a straw target out of them.

    Price’s work, when it works, puts into focus the “dispersion” of objects, images, and ideas through visual culture – of which the art market is just a part. The essay and the works have more interesting things to say about the market than the populist thing. But more to the point, they’re about more than the market.

    The whole piece is grounded in a superficial understanding of this Price series and Price’s work in general. With a little intellectual dishonesty to boot.

  • Michelle Obama

    The analysis in that Tom Moody quote is off.

    It takes a narrow slice out of the arguments that run through Price’s work and essays and takes them out of context to make a straw target out of them.

    Price’s work, when it works, puts into focus the “dispersion” of objects, images, and ideas through visual culture – of which the art market is just a part. The essay and the works have more interesting things to say about the market than the populist thing. But more to the point, they’re about more than the market.

    The whole piece is grounded in a superficial understanding of this Price series and Price’s work in general. With a little intellectual dishonesty to boot.

  • Michelle Obama

    The analysis in that Tom Moody quote is off.

    It takes a narrow slice out of the arguments that run through Price’s work and essays and takes them out of context to make a straw target out of them.

    Price’s work, when it works, puts into focus the “dispersion” of objects, images, and ideas through visual culture – of which the art market is just a part. The essay and the works have more interesting things to say about the market than the populist thing. But more to the point, they’re about more than the market.

    The whole piece is grounded in a superficial understanding of this Price series and Price’s work in general. With a little intellectual dishonesty to boot.

  • Michelle Obama

    The analysis in that Tom Moody quote is off.

    It takes a narrow slice out of the arguments that run through Price’s work and essays and takes them out of context to make a straw target out of them.

    Price’s work, when it works, puts into focus the “dispersion” of objects, images, and ideas through visual culture – of which the art market is just a part. The essay and the works have more interesting things to say about the market than the populist thing. But more to the point, they’re about more than the market.

    The whole piece is grounded in a superficial understanding of this Price series and Price’s work in general. With a little intellectual dishonesty to boot.

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Hi, Michelle,
    We’ll take on faith that Price’s work and essays “have more interesting things to say” since you haven’t told us what any of those things are.
    As for the accusations of dishonesty and creating straw people, I hope you feel better: you clearly needed to vent.
    Best, Tom

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Hi, Michelle,
    We’ll take on faith that Price’s work and essays “have more interesting things to say” since you haven’t told us what any of those things are.
    As for the accusations of dishonesty and creating straw people, I hope you feel better: you clearly needed to vent.
    Best, Tom

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Hi, Michelle,
    We’ll take on faith that Price’s work and essays “have more interesting things to say” since you haven’t told us what any of those things are.
    As for the accusations of dishonesty and creating straw people, I hope you feel better: you clearly needed to vent.
    Best, Tom

  • http://tommoody.us tom moody

    Hi, Michelle,
    We’ll take on faith that Price’s work and essays “have more interesting things to say” since you haven’t told us what any of those things are.
    As for the accusations of dishonesty and creating straw people, I hope you feel better: you clearly needed to vent.
    Best, Tom

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