Will That Be Cash or Credit?

Eytan Shouker, photographer, activist, and a former teacher of mine, notes that most of the people making a living from art are not artists themselves: museum staff, municipal and governmental culture department clerks, freelance curators, art critiques – all of them receive payments for their art-related work – while the artist usually settles for a stroke of his ego, and a couple of extra copies from the exhibit catalog. In his 2006 manifesto Shouker describes the common practice of offering artists nothing more than acknowledgement and credit, and sometimes reimbursement for their material expenses. The artists, feeling indebted to the powers that be for singling them out as worthy of an exhibit, accept these terms without ever thinking they deserve better.

[singlepic id=19 w=320 h=240 float=right]This month, Shouker has embarked on a project which aims to turn that art pyramid on its head, and help artists take charge of their future. He is arranging a group exhibit which will be funded by small amounts of money donated by individual artists. Based on the Million Dollar Homepage concept, he created a website, in which artists are invited to purchase pixels to fund the project, creating a Million Dollar Art Pyramid, so to speak.

The Pyramid Game exhibit will open March 15, 2008 at the Artists House in Tel-Aviv. Visit the official website (now-defunct) for more information.

Update: Eytan Shouker’s artwork featured in this post, which includes five of Hagigit‘s seven members, is now available for purchase, marked at 31,500 NIS.