nate freeman comments artvapity in this article for the new york times.
not to appear pecksniffian at this early stage: art and parties are siblings.
... the sheer volume of events (dinners, cocktails and blowout parties) not related to art this year is deafening. Sure, the art fairs still display paintings at gobsmacking prices during the day, but the serious art folk are getting sick of the nighttime excess.serious artfolk?
this is when one needs the right artglasses to properly take pleasure in the spectacle. coming to art basel (an art fair known for its delirium factor) and pretend to brush off its cultural excess is decidedly amateurish. art today is in company of the market. being together, closely supporting each other's goals.
freeman elaborates a bit on the nature of "the company":
But they pale in comparison this year to the flood of parties not related to art but with tie-ins to luxury brands, alcohol sponsors, fashion labels and boutiques. One public relations firm has compiled a party calendar that runs 14 pages and includes 27 events on Tuesday alone, including a fashion show, a brunch for a pop-up store and a dinner for a new furniture line.27 non-art events on tuesday alone! who doubts that art is a company of the market?
so, partygoers of the world, here is a curated list of some of the best art basel's soirees, shindigs and fete champetre:
1- White Cube’s poolside party at the Soho Beach House, 2- Aby Rosen’s A-list dinner at the Dutch and 3- the opening and V.I.P. dinner for the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami’s winter exhibition (this time, for Tracy Emin). 4- The Pérez Art Museum Miami opening, with a series of private brunches, V.I.P. previews and dinners. and this one for celeb hunters: 5- a performance of Kanye West & artist Vanessa Beecroft @ Mana Wynwood, a sprawling production village in the Miami Art District.
one may ask why are parties so crucial to the miami art basel mystique? parties are catalysts for artmarket inc., that is to say art being the spiritual veneer of the duality (scaffolded by the market). parties are to the artmarket what enzymes are to organisms: their function is to increase & speed up chemical reactions.
but let's not stereotype artbasel-party-goers as decadent souls. they are just regular joes who feel as if they are basking in this experience of spectacle conventions we refer to as culture. & what's wrong with that? nothing, except that these conventions are the very stage of operations of artmarket inc.: a socially-induced form of massive self-blinding.
for instance, a leandra medine is quoted in the piece --as candid and oblivious as when these species utter opinions: "I don't have a relationship with the art world in any profound capacity, so for me it's just a way for me to unwind."
sure, let's unwind. viva the market!