The Art World Has An Attention Span Of A Gnat

I've long admired Ian Wilson's conversation-based art works, though for years I've wondered if selling conversations as art doesn't complicate one's daily interactions with people, sort of a conceptual version of how doctors always get hit up for medical advice at parties.

As Sarah Douglas reports from Art Basel, though, it seems Mr. Wilson has solved the problem, by having all the conversations he wants, and only selling the documentation. His invoice/certificates are like the commemorative photos on Splash Mountain, available after the fact for your purchasing convenience:

[Wilson's work] consists of a small room in which the artist conducts half-hour conversations on the heady subject of "the absolute" with anyone who makes an appointment for the privilege. "Oh, that's very Tino Sehgal," remarked one fairgoer. "No, no, it's very Marina Abramovic!" countered another.
Holy crap, people. Could they even find enough people in Basel capable of sustaining a 30-minute conversation on one topic? The guy's been doing this stuff since before Tino Sehgal was born.

Circles, Nudity, and the Carnivalesque Rule at Basel's Art Unlimited and Statements Sections [artinfo via @andrewrusseth]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: June 16, 2010.

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