The art market--its players, institutions, and divisions of power--is addressed, contextualized, and strategized both with critical acuity and a dose of enjoyment. Both are concerned with the sources of monetary support. Haacke remarks that old-fashioned and rather naive patronage has been superceded mostly by high-empowering corprate "sponsorship". Corporate support further privatizes the art world, and, as Haacke says, "In the end, we are the ones who wind up subsidizing the corporate propaganda." (18) I particularly like the title of Haacke's piece which appropriates the Mercedes Benz logo: "Freedom Is Now Simply Going To Be Sponsered--Out of Petty Cash". Almost every pleasure is taxed: that smile will cost you. According to our accounts, your emancipation is currently not cost effective. You can't afford to make these kinds of decisions. The corporations can be rather blunt about their involvement, as Haacke quotes one manager: "Culture is in fashion, all the better. As long as it lasts, we should use it." (71) Of course, both PB and Haacke are well aware of certain historical moments where certain cultures and freedoms were not "chic".
Just plain criticism won't do much. Pure autonomy is not so much un-realistic as not very useful or desirable or interesting. Instead, one needs to be able to understand and use the network of "dependencies" which support every field. PB suggests a critical alliance with the state, such that thinkers and artists would "learn to use against the state the freedom that the state assures them. They must work simultaneously, without scruples or a guilty conscience, to increase the state's involvement as well as their vigilance in relation to the state's influence." (72) This is a fairly common and re-usable strategy, applicable to any institution (perhaps... but I still think this confirms state logic, agrees to state illusio, conforms to state goals without necessarily effecting state policy and practice). Recall PB's comment in _The Rules of Art_: "This is a paradoxical universe in which freedom from institutions is found inscribed *in* those institutions." (258) Haacke agrees here but is a little more reserved as he mentions case histories where it is the state, in collaboration with the institutions, which is involved mostly in effecting censorhsip quickly internalized as self-censorship.
Who else has a hand in molding the art market? Aha, cries PB, the spineless disseminators of the scene, the journalists, also read as the "journalistic-mundande," or "commercial logic". PB clearly despises these scandal mongrels, but, and I think this is very important, Haacke is not so condescening or dismissive to these mediants. Says Haacke: "One can learn a lot from advertising. Among the mercenaries of the advertising world are very smart people, real experts in communication. It makes practical sense to learn techniques and strategies of communication. Without knowing them, it is impossible to subvert them." (107) There is great potential in "commercial logic" not just for access to the many, but as a method of knowing and understanding, ripped-off from the journalists and re-applied elsewhere (example: Haacke's "Helmsboro" cigarettes--I think I'd like to take up smoking).
This strategy would agree to PB's suggestion that discourse should "produce messages on several levels."(106) Clearly, PB sees a better chance for subversion in organization, critique as a "collective strategy," a "collective reflection," or an "elevation of the collective consciousness". Not schools (no more school-ism movements), but collectively based planting and spreading of critical understanding. Even if PB gives great praise to Haacke's interventions on a singular level, both are well aware that wider and longer lasting transformations need the support and involvement of collectivities.
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