If your role when you have no power is to make souvenirs of your culture for commercial scenes, then you are doing what the Government says artists do. People like that. Artists like that too because we are so alienated that it feels like we need this proof. So maybe I'm painting jazz paintings because it makes me feel artistic to paint paintings about jazz. Not because I have an urge in my blood to paint paintings about jazz. Not because it's part of my cultural community to paint jazz paintings. Maybe it makes me feel artistic to paint jazz paintings at a time when the entire set-up is saying you are not real, you are not the artist that [insert your own context mascot's name here] is. If you make art that is contextual to be seen commercially, I think that you are necessarily destroying your place or community because you are destroying the identity as though it was the identity and doing it and selling it. Every time someone buys into it, it is re-enforced that is the identity whatever.
Not Not Fireworks is a Land Art initiative about exceeding ironic economies of attention. Substantiating single entendre principles. Risking the disapproval of collectivised yuppsters or those that want to be like collectivised yuppsters. And art persons afraid of gaze or ridicule. It has been inspired by the oppressive nature of the too successful artist. By this I mean the conferred ability to critique a question whilst tacitly avoiding its content. Like using the same groovy technique to expose the enemy as insulate yourself. Colonial criticality. The tyranny of cool. Visual aids for gentrifiers. Irony institutionalised. And other simultaneous things.
British artist Richard Parry is invited by Jamie Stevens to represent London's alternative art scene. Parry's works often seems like nuanced satires of the bureaucratic self-promoting practices that are part of today's artistic lifestyle. Several of his works ironically comment on the art-interested public's journies to far-flung places to see biennales and large exhibitions. He believes that this practice smack of neo-colonialism. For an exhibition at the Institute for Social Hypocrisy that was held in Paris in 2011, Parry filled the entire gallery with thousands of yellow air mattresses - the type normally associated with tourism to tropical destinations. The installation could be read as an ironic comment on the artist's international position and the art-world thirst for whatever is exotic and new. In Europe Europe we see works that perpetuate this neo colonial theme. Parry presents part of a project called Art Zimbabwe which was originally shown at the National Museum in Harare in 2011. In Art Zimbabwe there was among other things a catalogue of works from a fictive art fair; paintings that were based on photos from tourist brochures and traditional handicrafts to which false designer labels were attached. Here in Europe Europe we see four silkscreen prints of Zimbabwean paper money that represent dizzying amounts like one-hundred trillion dollars. The motifs are printed on mirrors such that when we see our own reflection we become part of the artwork. These silkscreen prints are actually based on real Zimbabwe dollars that were used from 1980-2009, a period of astronomical inflation. These sums can also allude to the art market inflated prices as they are always being pushed higher and higher.