Scope, an International Contemporary Art Fair showing contemporary art by emerging artists came to New York’s Lincoln Center. Being set up in a big white tent, somehow adds to the surge of contemporary when you walk right into live art. A man lies on the floor, dressed all in silver attached to a falling chandelier like object, also all silver. You don’t realize he’s alive until you find him later running through the tent. Walk towards the elite V.I.P. line and approach the line for “others” all while avoiding stepping onto a black cloth that is moving in and out of the pathway as if being blow by wind. I’m excited to get in and feel the vibrations inside me and see the explosion of art from around the globe.
Once inside you have various dealers with their cubicle like set-up, ironically corporatized, displaying artwork from the gallery they represent while also representing their country. Surprisingly there is an abundance of photography in the fair, which one can debate even belonging here. Not to mention the “trend” of patterns in various mediums from various countries, as if it matters. Not a lot of large works or powerful paintings to grab your senses. When you go to an INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR one would think to be over stimulated by talent, and works overflowing with concept. But I walked and walked, waiting and waiting for it to get better while continuing to see work not much out of range with students studying at an art school. These trends so to speak of little crack head cartoon like figures acting out or cartoon like woman from maybe a japananese animation movie and horribly rendered patterns are not of great intellect or aesthetics.
One of New York’s galleries Mike Weiss was showing work again giving me the art school flashback. There was a series of work consisting of cigar bands and found drug bags, which were threaded together in a grid-like pattern. From a distance you can see the clear vs. colored squares and might be lured in to look close, only to find out that it’s basically nothing significant to anyone but maybe a junkie.
Overall Scope, the INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR of emerging talent was a very unpleasant event. The more I thought of my expectations of the contemporary art world and the excitement of what the other side of the globe has to offer, the more disappointing the fair was. One can only hope that it was the fault of the event itself that was “uneventful” and not the contemporary art world that was so substandard and quite empty.
March 6, 2007