The Gallery Director

The following text is taken from Front Magazine, vol. XV, no. 4, p. 28, September/October 2004:

The Artist – The Cultural Worker Series 

Three Interventions: October 18-23, 2004
The Gallery Director
The University Professor
Dinner with the Artist

In the sixties and seventies, Bonnie Sherk was one of the first artists to take the notion of the ready made and translate it into the performance genre. Whereas anything could already be art, she posited that any action, if undertaken with a critical mind and suitable contextualization, could be art. In this series, I propose to present a contemporary version of Bonnie Shark’s seminal performance work. An updating of her work vis-à-vis changing vocabularies, ideals, politics and times, my performances will work in the same vein wherein she used everyday actions, objects, and places to create a contemplative space. Each performance will be a response to one of Sherk’s actions; the 60s/70s ideals made contemporary, under her work made mine through my preference to examine life through a filter of perceived reality (or perhaps cynicism) in reference to those ideals. –Cindy Baker

This work is part of “That 70′s Ho”–a celebration of women and performance circa 1970. Curated by Victoria Singh, co-curated/produced by Velveeta Krisp.

A description of the work on Baker’s website reads:

“The Gallery Director sets up a space for contemplation about the condition of the contemporary artist as cultural worker­ has the contemporary art world created an imperative for artists to be involved in other aspects of culture than as a producer, just to survive? Where Sherk, as The Waitress, highlighted the predicament of the artist that needs to work minimum wage service jobs just to survive, as well as the benefits of doing hard labour, being a ‘productive member of society’ and working alongside the common man, The Gallery Director reflects shifting realities as well as ideals ­ that artists are still working more job for less money, but now the need to stay connected is focused on the art world, not the ‘real world.’ While evoking memories of Sherk’s waitress, The Gallery Director raises issues of the contemporary perceptions of obligation to a cultural community and the duty to fill multiple roles in that community.”