Friday, November 22, 2013


alfredo triff

francis bacon's famous triptych sold for 142 million!

never mind the bloomberg article's babbling. most of the reasons offered beg the question:

artauction is A1,
arthing is A2,

1- A1 functions as a symbolic mediation. a pivot of trading & exchange: $ for commodities.
2- A2 & A1, are presently co-dependent. yes, arthings can function as art (whatever that received notion of art was is of no importance now) but they play as Wertform, i.e., imponderables on the surface (what curators and other art connoisseurs of today refer to as aesthetics, culture & whatnot).
3- behind the scenes, A2 functions as A1's screen of arthoodication.
4- without A1's presentation, A2 lacks valueability (what traders generally refer to as "market price"). as such, arthings don't mean a thing without A1's public awe-inducing sell-offs.
5- arthings are not "usable," yet they remain abracadabraistically "autonomous."

how come?    

here aesthetics makes an entrance by the hand of the art establishment. the received narrative is that arthings refer to themselves. they are "intrinsic" in that they don't satisfy a "real" but a "spiritual" need. A2 satisfies -not a biological but- a cultural need. arthings can be seen as sophisticated ciphers, i.e., objects with a Familienähnlichkeit of cultural status & dominance. it's a cliche to observe that for men cars are power objects, symbols of virility, strength, achievement and coolness, and that they may use cars to project this image to compensate for feelings of inadequacy.

same with collectors and arthings. A2 is ostentatiously presented and consumed & talked about primarily for their cultural valueability. yet, it's of the essence that valueability becomes veiled or disappears altogether.

why? as in magic, valueability's question-begging power must be preserved and nurtured as an "ideal," for its own sake. but then, why are the armies of curators and art personnel ready to arthoodicate it?

perhaps arthings are supposed to express and inhere something they basically lack.