[-empyre-] In and out of the system

John Haber jhaber at haberarts.com
Wed Jan 16 07:50:56 EST 2008

The uses of "passport" is ironic enough that I hope they staged it just
for us this week.  You know, it occurs to me that while globalization,
technologies, art fairs, and so on break certain boundaries or absorb
certain discrete entities, there might be as a contrary effect a
creation of local styles as brand identification. This would be
increased by at least two other effects: the felt need for a substitute
for Modernism's art movements and the even greater reliance on certain
key art schools as filters for overworked dealers in a more crowded

Thus it's easier on entering a gallery to shrug and say right away, oh,
s/he's from Germany or LA or NYC or ....  And this might sometimes be a
shorthand, I suspect for s/he's close to the style of the Becker's or
the Leipzig painters or Cal Arts or Yale....  The coming Whitney
Biennial list of artists is of course concentrated in LA and NY, without
the unusual 2006 emphasis on artists born overseas but working in
America and vice versa.


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