Full reports of the AICA / VAI panel discussions – ‘Artists and Ethics’ and ‘Art in Time of Transition’ – held at the VAI Get Together 2014 (23 May); have been posted to the AICA Ireland website.
‘Art in a Time of Transition’ brought together UK art historian / theorist Paul Wood, critic / artist James Merrigan and curator / arts manager Cliodnha Shaffrey to consider the following questions: Is the present typified by socio-political, economic and environmental crises? How is current art practice, mediation, curating, criticism and collecting reflecting upon this geo-cultural turmoil? What are the alternatives to neo-liberal blandishments that posit consumerism and capitalism as the eternal order? Critic and academic Declan Long chaired the discussion.
The panellists for ‘Artists and Ethics’ were: Elaine A King (Carnegie Mellon University, USA), a specialist in the field of art and ethics; socially engaged Irish artist Brian Maguire and the writers Gemma Tipton (Irish Times, RTE, Artforum) and Fionola Meredith (Irish Times, Belfast Telegraph, Guardian, BBC NI). Artist Alan Phelan chaired the discussion. The event focused on: the ethics of art production; the relationships between artists, subjects and audiences; and how art world super-structures – professional individuals, institutions and the market – influence the financial and reputational value of art and artists.