(Building 2, Lane 298 Anfu Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai, Shanghai)
Advertising has undoubtedly penetrated all aspects of modern life. All one has to do is turn their head in any direction or switch on their phone and they are bound to be confronted with an advertisement of some sort. The art world is no exception to this.
Exhibition publicity is most likely the first way we experience the event of art before, or instead of getting there. By attempting to encapsulate the attitude and concept of the show, the exhibition advertisement functions as a surrogate to the exhibition itself via the simple means of text and image. It is a testing ground for art to do what we expect of it- communicate to us. Art Forum and Frieze, the bibles of contemporary art, which seem to offer its readers more exhibition ads than editorial content, are the foremost platforms for the global art world to survey exhibitions past, present and future through clever, nonchalant ads. The magazine also lays down, through its sequencing, the market politics of the art industry (Ads for big galleries first, medium sized ones second, then institutions and NFP last). In this body of work Tim Crowley investigates the formats of publicity in contemporary art through an almost diaristic narrative of his own experiences. Crowley made his choice to be an artist at a very young age and has worked as artist as well as art magazine photo editor, in galleries, institutions, as a curator and documenter of the world of art. Having traversed the full gamut of art industry roles and geographical centers, Crowley, from an insider’s perspective looking out, anticipates exhibitions of the far future and in far off places with an absurd and often comic flare.
Conflating, on the surface, random and unrelated artists with images, sometimes pulled from the artists’ previous series, and quirky exhibition titles, Crowley playfully fetishises, critiques, exaggerates, celebrates and satirises the interesting conceits and contradictions of contemporary art and its attendant billboards.