Presence and Absence in Crowds


(2008, first published in Realism newspaper as part of the Free Class Frankfurt’s exhibition Trompe L’oeil Polizei at the Frankfurter Kunstverein, 2008; the below version annotated by Robert Knowles and Jon Knowles and included in the art work My other office is a bistro table by Knowles Eddy Knowles in the exhibition Making it Work at the Leonard and Bina Ellen Gallery, Montréal, 2009)

Paying heed to even wider sections of the contemporary art world one notices there is no stigma attached to collective work, except perhaps by certain collectives or critics who label it as en vogue. Or should one employ the term ‘lament’ to describe the tone of art groups come of age in the last decade or two, noting the passing from ‘independent’ to ‘institutionalized?’ Perhaps as the perennial inheritor of paradise lost, I am projecting. For something must prompt the question: “But why are collectives so attractive to the institutions nowadays?” and I simply refuse to believe the aura of authenticity exhausts the discussion as a concept or as an answer. I think it is important to look at a few of the many ways that groups operate, and the implications of these methodologies.

pdf: Presence and Absence in Crowds