Bottoms Up

1989 Whitney Biennial Catalog

“Friday is shaping up as potentially one of the most volatile trading days in years, as scheduled changes in futures, options and other derivatives markets threaten to add to a frenzied trading month that has already had some of the biggest daily stock-index swings ever.
The S&P 500 has risen or fallen at least 4% in eight straight sessions, the longest streak in history, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The Cboe Volatility Index, the Wall Street fear gauge known as the VIX, hit its highest level in history this week.” [WSJ Thursday March 19, 2020]

The Coronavirus and the panic and hysteria it has unleashed in the stock market have revealed many of the economic fictions underlying NeoLiberal capitalism. Every aspect of our society, every transaction, every debt and payment, every international treaty, every contract, every business, is now under intense scrutiny and stress. With the market in extreme downfall our economic lives have been trashed in just under a week. There’s nothing to be done I’m afraid. So, I am asking you to be smart. Take care of yourselves. If you have a job hang on to it if you can. Protect your family and your future – because nothing is going to be as it was. Be ready to see the galleries dry up, the fairs stop and the buyers to disappear. The truth is it’s a perfect time to take your art life, your studio, underground. Be rigorous and stringent and honest about your work. Take criticism as an opportunity to rid yourself of old and/or bad ideas, eliminate the recent past and find your true self somewhere in the mix. Reach out only to those few others who are also doing this kind of self evaluation, because these are the kinds of artists that will be ready to be honest with you, to value your honesty, and ultimately, to lead with you. Change, real life changes, are upon us. Use it.

One Comment

  • gwh12

    This is so apt – it is the only sane thing to do right now.Actually, as a friend said – the world is catching up to what we’ve been doing anway. But I do think all experiences are of value, and they all show up, in work. That’s the great thing.

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