Professional Amateur | Antwerpen, Belgium
November 10th – December 20th, 2018
“When does the amateur become professional?”
“What creates a professional?”
When it comes to art-making, what determines who is deemed professional?
Among the many acts and ways of making art, the idea of the ‘professional’ artist seems to be that of an individual who is able to create value acknowledged both culturally and economically, whose actions and works are validated by institutions within society. In this context, the amateur is an individual fuelled by passion and interest but unable to create cultural or economic value on a societally significant scale. The divide between the two is neither clear nor permanent; it can go and has gone through endless variations and modulations with time: they are two extremes between which individuals who partake in cultural production find themselves.
A main source of such validation is being accepted into the archive of institutions such as museums and other art and cultural centres. This creates, as pointed out by Boris Groys in his book On the New, incentive in market value because such a position is then considered a solid investment.
The amateur can thus view their lack of economic value, or the lack/ withholding of a larger collective validation, as a form of resistance- yet the tides of cultural trends remain highly unpredictable. Yesterday’s trash turns too quickly into today’s treasure; today’s waste may well be adulated in the collective archive of tomorrow.
Arnar Ásgeirsson / Bergur Ebbi / Dagrún Aðalsteinsdóttir / Hrafnhildur Helgadóttir / Saemundur Thor Helgason / Félag Borgara
Sponsored by the Icelandic Art Fund