Friday, 7 November 2014

Nara + 20: conclusion

The pieces move but nothing changes
I remember the first time we bought an important work of art. It was a linocut by Sybil Andrews. We brought it home from the gallery and hung it on a wall in the living room. We thought that it would lift the tone of the living room, but it succeeded only in making everything else look shoddier than before.

Nara presented the start of a new paradigm and, suddenly, what had existed before seems shabby and tired out. Most of the players are stuck in the same holding pattern: find an incident where some collector, dealer, detectorist, or curator goofs or commits a crime and then show how this is indicative of the behaviour of all collectors... , or say that collectors do not demand a solid collecting history for their purchases knowing that not only most items do not have such a history, but it is usually illegal to pass on the identity of a previous owner for goods classified as "second-hand". For the US State Department: identify where a nation is being difficult over some American interest like the expansion of Monsanto or the setting up of another military base, and then use minority groups like collectors or archaeologists as pawns to grant import restrictions that benefit said nation in return for their capitulation on the important matter. Minority groups are so easy.

The one thing a shiny new paradigm does bring is an awareness that where it is not acknowledged, purposes other than what have been stated are the real purpose for the conflict. The new paradigm reveals such deceit and the pawns become aware of their role within it.

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