Regine just posted about
some artists in the Hungarian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale who made portable chairs available to visitors, [correction: turns out the chairs were sponsor-driven, not artist-driven.] and it got me thinking about the customer service side of artviewing, especially in a setting like Venice.
So much art is about the White Cube, the experience of seeing it, a "critique" of the institution/process, but yet so little of that actual process is actually addressed. A curator friend once told me of escorting her trustees around Venice (the last one, when it was August-hot at the June opening), and they actually had to debate going to see some art based on whether or not the venue was air-conditioned.
An artist like Francesco Vezzolli makes his art movie-trailer-short, sex-filled, and full of fashion and celebrity in order to stand out from the blur of Venice's gossip-saturated, art-overloaded opening festivities. But that's just a shrewd reading and anticipation of the setting.
I just came back from Tokyo with a hoard of Takashi Murakami fans, which they were handing out to people as they got off the Roppongi subway stop. It's not art, I know, but it's an artist's move, based on a retailer/developer's understanding of the viewer experience.
Then there's Rirkrit Tiravanija's meals, or last Venice's Utopia Station, to an extent. Or 2001's Venice cafe collaboration between Olafur Eliasson and Tobias Rehburger and ___ [I forget, but it doesn't matter, because apparently it was altered so badly the artists removed their name from it. Somewhere in there, it lost the sanctity that non-artists grant to artwork.]
So what I'd love to see, I guess, is some kind of art-as-customer-service, someone who toys with or explores or highlights the fact that viewing and encountering and contemplating art is often --not exclusively, or even mostly, but often, and especially in the event-centered cases of fairs, biennials, and openings where much of the "art world" places itself-- a cultural experience, an activity that its viewers choose over shopping, movies, other forms of travel or tourism, reading, what have you.
Anyway, just rambling when I should be heading out. It's so hot, I think I'll take one of these fans.