Monday, January 03, 2011
City of Craft 2010 Recap
Christmas and New Years came so soon after City of Craft this year, I've barely had a chance to reflect on how everything went yet! Above are three photos showing parts of the exhibition Love and Money, which I organized for City of Craft this year. Last year, I programmed 14 installations as well as a small-ish group exhibition, so by those standards I was a total slacker this year.
Love and Money reflected on intersections of craft and commerce. This is a sticky issue I think about often...I am a maker of craft-like things, but often feel positioned outside of both the mega-profitable how-to craft industry and the world of fine craft. Handmade craft objects in this day and age are in many cases luxury items that can only be afforded by a select few. This runs counter to the populist appeal of craft objects as opposed to, say, art objects. In addition, craft processes were employed in the past out of necessity and frugality, and to some in the west-- and to many outside of western cultures--they still are. This dichotomous relationship between craft and luxury and hand-making as a way of operating (somewhat) outside of the capitalist system is an interesting one. Each of these fragments of thought were floating around in my mind when I conceived of this exhibition.
Much of the work in Love and Money used craft to subvert notions of commercial exchange, and what can be considered "precious" or "luxurious." Themes explored included playing with and altering dollar bill imagery, the creation of objets d'art with imprecious materials, theft, combining making with altruistic/charitable gestures, creative reuse, and more. As the exhibition began to take shape, I was thrilled at how much the collection of work had an underlying sense of mischief and play with regards to the theme.
My big thanks to every individual who contributed to Love and Money-- each of the eleven artists in the exhibition, as well as Becky and Jen of City of Craft, and Janna, Valerie, and everyone at the Ontario Crafts Council.
In addition to curating Love and Money, I tabled City of Craft as a vendor this year. What a weekend! I met a ton of amazing people, and made a heap of moolah. This taught me that while the money can be a complex source of contemplation, frustration and stress, it feels pretty damn great to have it every once in a while...especially around Christmas.
Looking forward to what next year's City of Craft will bring!