Art

[Price Not Applicable]

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How is artwork different from decoration? As a complete layperson my understanding is that an artwork is a visual/physical manifestation of an idea, whereas decoration or craft just caters to the (very subjective) aesthetics of the viewer.

I was intrigued when I was invited to my friend Monica’s exhibition, firstly because I thought she was doing a fashion degree, but more relevantly because of the title of her exhibition: “$N/A Price Not Applicable”. (Turns out she completed her fashion degree, and she is halfway through a Masters in Fine Arts at Massey University).

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The idea behind her collection of works was looking at how economic forces influence human behaviour. Monica looked to explore how capitalism inevitably lends to a focus on the individual, and results in what she views to be an undue emphasis on status supported by material wealth.

Her artworks and the prints are available for ‘sale’ – however the price is non-monetary. She has asked that the buyer describe their interaction with the artwork and communicate this to her in lieu of monetary payment. In a sense, she is asking for the buyer’s time, attention and consideration as consideration (pun definitely intended) for her work. Perhaps in doing so she is saying this is more valuable to her than money, or that the value of the work isn’t quantifiable in monetary terms.

Another reason for not accepting monetary payment for the artworks and print was to draw attention to how the use of money has led to a divergence between the intrinsic value of a good, and the easily quantifiable and instantly recognisable monetary value.

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I didn’t take catalog photos of her works on purpose – it’s open for the following times and dates so you can go see it with your own eyes and consider whether taking the time to experience your interpretation of her work, then recording and communicating it to the artist would be sufficient payment for one of her works or prints. The exhibition is on the first floor of the Grand Arcade on Willis Street – it’s part of the Urban Dream Brokerage project which is a really cool initiative worth reading up about in its own right.

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Oh – the wood panels? I thought there might be some hidden meaning that my non artistically trained mind had missed. Turns out Monica doesn’t like painting on canvas, and she found these blocks of wood. Sweet.

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If I just want to look at pretty pictures, I will go on tumblr and waste my life away. Art should stimulate the mind cogs and I had a really good time browsing Monica’s artworks and thinking about the messages in her collection. ¬†Oh and this is her:

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– Chris.

Author: Chris Park

One half of the Park Brothers. Purveyor of banter, curator of misc. Manage comms for @BuoyandMine. Read More


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