During our research on shopping and art shopping we have become interested in the interstitial spaces of art. For example, the gallery corners where no work of art is on display. There are many things one can do in such spaces, both as artists and as consumers (as the photo documenting a Christie’s customer shows). Sometimes it is just the case that the wall is more interesting than the pieces on the wall; sometimes one needs to rest one’s eyes; but who knows what really happens in those spaces?
Critically speaking, we see a lot of artistic and commercial potential in these overlooked spaces. For example:
– new ways of displaying artworks where people less expect them (innovation, future art)
– commercial potential: monetising these empty spaces with, say, pop up drink or aroma dispensers, or any other innovative retail; charging for resting one’s eyes or for conversations with walls, etc.
This impressive array of switches and sockets begs the questions: is it part of the work? Is it powering up the painting? Is it for sale? Can we charge our phones there? Can we charge people who need to charge their phones? Why does it look more interesting than the painting, and, has anyone even noticed it because there is no explanatory wall text? Should it be moved further up, and the painting further down? Do the coaxial cable sockets let you speak to the shop assistant when you want to purchase a piece? If not, why not? Have these options been fully assessed and evaluated?
This interstitial piece also offers lessons in curation to art students. There is always enough wall space if you look up or down, or in the corners. So don’t complain.