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"What Business Are You In?"
2005-01-31 until 2005-03-26
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
Atlanta, GA, USA United States of America

This is an exhibition of national and internationally known artists who insert themselves into institutional structures and/or mimic the language and practices of business and academia. Includes video, installation, photography, and live performance. Michael Aurbach (Nashville, TN), Alex Bag (New York, NY), Andrea Fraser (New York, NY), Jason Irwin (New York, NY), Gunilla Klingberg (Stockholm, Sweden), Lucy Kimbell (London, England), Irene Moon (Lexington, KY), Christian Philipp Müller (New York, NY and Frankfurt, Germany), Adrian Piper (USA), John Salvest (Jonesboro, AK), Carey Young (London, England).

Artists’ relationships with the corporate and academic worlds are complex and often contradictory. Far from the myth of the romantic outsider, most artists depend on the support of institutions and corporations, much as they did on the aristocracy or church in the past. Artists engage in self-promotion and branding, produce multiplies and outsource the production of work.

A number of artists immerse themselves in business life to revitalize the idea of what art is and might be. Some artists adopt mimicry and masquerade in order to explore corporate culture ‘from within’. Others take an anthropological approach to the cultures of the university and the corporation.

For some artists, the frustration with a day job that kept them out of the studio stimulated work about office life. For others, the experience of becoming a professional art teacher prompted artwork about their ambivalent relationship to authority.

Unlike earlier conceptual artists, whose tactics developed in tandem with - and were often absorbed by - the mass media, many of these artists are not strictly oppositional. Instead, by highlighting the co dependence of individuals and organizations they explore the moral ambiguities of our ideologically impure times.

What Business Are You In? presents artists from Britain, Germany, Sweden and the United States working with photography, sculpture, video, performance, and installation. Playful and quizzical, rather than overtly didactic, they explore the slippery definitions of art, artist, and entrepreneur.

This exhibit is funded in part by the College Art Association, the British Council, and International Artists Studio Program in Stockholm.


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