Show Me the Money: a new series on SFMOMA’s blog
For quite some time, Oliver and I have been talking about a project we’ve been calling Show Me the Money. Sometimes our projects take a lot of time living in the back of our heads before they become a reality. Years ago, we were thinking that it would be great to diagram out how the money works for different types of organizations, businesses, and artists in the art world just so we could simply see it. But that didn’t happen, or hasn’t happened yet.
At the beginning of this year, we started thinking critically about The Present Group and how it could change and adapt so that we could become more stable (more on that later). During this time, I started thinking again about Show Me the Money and how I wished I had already done it, how it seems so necessary, how I can’t believe someone else hasn’t done it. So I went ahead and emailed one of my favorite Bay Area platforms for conversation, the SFMOMA blog, to see if they were interested in the idea. Turns out, they were.
So today, I’ve posted a little introduction to the project as a whole. I’m really excited and slightly nervous about it all, but I am really looking forward to it. With a little bit of optimism and hope, I’m about embark on asking people to talk about a subject that almost everyone avoids: money.
Here’s a snippet:
The visual arts, as a discipline, is sometimes seen as a place where one can and should freely explore and produce independently of the market. It is with this optimism and drive to work without financial reward that so many people pursue the creation of their own organizational structures. This freedom can be a fertile and productive place from which to practice, but it comes with a price of perception and expectation: creative work is generally under-compensated (because you were going to do it anyway), general operating costs are ignored in funding proposals, installations are installed without fees, and exposure is offered as payment all throughout the chain.
..There is a prevalent belief in our country that if you work hard enough you’ll be able to “make it.” If you do something good long enough, people will notice. But as any artist, small businessperson, or organization head will tell you, this just isn’t true.
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