Administrative Art

Administrative Art



Curator's text:

Alexander Bogdanov transforms the Jewel Box, with its floor to ceiling glass walls, from a site for spectacle to a site for self-reflection. He achieves this transformation by delegating to another artist the task of filling the space with physical content. Bogdanov conducted a month-long call for entries in search of that artist, promoting the call extensively through social media and e-blasts. The selected artist has exclusive use of the space to display his or her work. The artist also receives a $1200 honorarium, raised through application fees from the call for entries.

In a defining effort to remove his own artist fingerprint from the content and form of the physical artwork in the Jewel Box, Bogdanov uses a computer randomizer to select the winning candidate. This particular piece of software relies on atmospheric versus algorithmic randomizing data. This ensures that the winning artist is, for all intents and purposes, selected by nature rather than by the subjectivity of taste. The essence of Bogdanov’s project is in relinquishing authorship over the content and form of the physical artwork, while actively crafting the context of its presentation. Although his work is materially absent from the Jewel Box, his conceptual framing of the exhibition determines how we relate to what we do see. He questions the criteria of artistic labor and the legitimizing authority of the art school and the museum by switching out his own work with that of a randomly chosen artist for the MFA thesis exhibition. In so doing, he carries out an ongoing process of introspection, testing his personal expectations of art as well.