Peter Vahlefeld, Berlin —
One problem of ‘art fairs’ is that the ‘art worlds’ superstructure has grown so large that it’s difficult to navigate your way through it with a clear perspective on your own roles. One option would involve leaving the ‘art world’ altogether but economic dependency on the art industry is probably not the only thing that keeps artists from just walking away. It’s hard to imagine art without an art market. The artist produces art works and the institutions control access to audiences, be it the professional audience of your peers or a broader audience interested in art. This entrepreneurialism of the self has become widespread. Call it Thatcher’s enterprise society, Reagan’s casino society, or neoliberalism: the modern man and woman are required to sell themselves if they want to sell their work. Any artist who wants to sell their work must apply to the gatekeepers of one or more of these hierarchically arrayed districts. One of the gatekeepers is the Berlin-based Windsor Art Club, a private members club of curators, gallerists, critics and journalists. They are entrepreneurs for economic reasons: to provide goods and services for people who share their aesthetic tastes. Power is their ultimate aphrodisiac.