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Clive Robertson vs Hal Niedzviecki Essay

There are contrasts between Clive Robertson and Hal Niedzviecki. One is talking about how Artist-Run Centre can run better and it should be continue with younger artist in this century and one is talking about the Art Bureaucracy is ruining artists’ creativity and decisions. The following essay will be deep discuss each writer’s point of view and the ambitions of art. In Clive Robertson’s essay, “Policy Matters: Administrations of Art and Culture, through InFest: International Artist Run Culture, it was held in Vancouver in 2004.

He discussed the Canadian artists where they held artist space, artist-run centre or artist’ events during the past and present. Clive said, “The manifestations of the artist-run culture movement in Canada has been widespread and enduring for many reasons aside from its existence within a particular conjuncture of nation-building through state funding. ” (Clive 3) Artist-Run Culture was very active during the sixties and seventies, that’s why Clive said the art culture movement has been widespread. Clive also discussed what claims to be contemporary art in the essay.

Talking about artist-run culture, many people must be confused what that is. For myself, I didn’t know the differences between public gallery, commercial gallery or what artist-run centre is if I see a gallery on the street because the gallery is usually just showing the works. After a deep thought, I realized there are differences between different galleries. Public gallery is like AGO, though you need to pay the admission fee to go in, it’s a museum for you to browse the arts. Museum usually is just for browsing, not purchasing. For commercial gallery, is a private owned gallery where the artists can sell their own works.

I didn’t know much of Artist-run centre until I know there’s Nuit Blanche. Nuit Blanche is a big artist-run centre in Toronto and I think it’s very successful. As Clive said in the text, “The first thing is that conceptualism’s intellectual currency as an art-making strategy is very much alive; and, secondly that the projects of self-government or self-administration and bureaucracy for artists have to be “lived through” in order to comprehend and assess what rules are in play and which sets of rules provide the most or least acceptable ethical opportunities and advantages. (Clive 2)

Artist-run is hard to run it without funding from government or non-profit organizations. So, they think it’s better to run as bureaucracy for artists. They will have a more stable base to run art. Arts need to be thinking out of the box which Designers always been asked to do. Artist-Run Centre keeps on running in different places, but it seems like artists and curators stop discussing about it. The artists and curators from this generation should start to write about the Artist-Run Centre, or else it would just stop as history and there’s no contemporary anymore.

Hal Niedzivecki discussed in the essay, Fear and Loathing on the Granting Trail: Canadian Art Versus Canadian Bureaucracy”, Niedzivecki said Canadian artists suffers from Arts Bureaucracy Angst (ABA). ABA can ruin the artists’ life, such as creativity. The world is full of judgments and right or wrong, but it seems like Arts Bureaucracy is not giving artists choices of what they are doing. Niedzivecki had given examples of the artists/writers about their story. “You’ll note that Molly Morin learned a reverse lesson: she got her grant, and so was empowered, personally – not financially – to pursue her poetry and publish her chapbook….

A faceless verdict is issued; lacking context or explanation or encouragement, one can easily mistake that verdict decision – ever meant to be” (Niedzivecki 259) Arts Bureaucracy can be putting some pressures on the artists. People always say being an artist is so poor; you’ll be famous after you died. For artists, they make art because they love to create something through art and they make money from it, but it is hard to make money from doing art. As Niedzivecki mentioned, “Artists have always needed funding. ” (Niedzivecki 259), artists don’t know their art will sell and earn them money.

ABA is the ugly, gnawing feeling we get when we sense that our livelihood is under threat by forces – global, government – that we can neither affect nor predit. ” (Niedzivecki 260) Not only artist and designer, basically everything is controlled by the global and the government. You do have the right to make some art or design, but you can’t avoid having judgments or rejections from the global. ABA is totally a discouragement to artist. Niedzivecki could depict the truthfulness and the ugliness of ABA in the essay.

In conclusion, contemporary art is not only involve with conceptual art, body art, environmental art, correspondence art, performance art, but it’s include with artist-run centre and arts bureaucracy angst. In contrast between Clive Robertson and Hal Niedzivecki, they both have different points of view of contemporary Canadian art. Indeed, I found a similarity between two authors message is that artists are “starving artist”, where Niedzivecki had mentioned in the essay. Artists want to do their best in their artworks and get compliments from others. Unfortunately, the rejections or judgments they get are way more than compliments.


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