Opportunity, Unfortunately 2017

Opportunity, Unfortunately 2017

Performance commission for Venice Agendas: The Contract at Folkestone Triennial


A performative research intervention: would you do your job just for the love of it?

Dressed in the popular, outdated and clichéd public consensus image of an artist’s outfit, I tested if, or to what extent, people would provide goods and services on the same terms as those often asked of artists, e.g. “it’s great exposure”, “it’ll look good on your CV”, “if you do well I might pay you later” or “real artists do it for love, not for the money”. The title refers to the phrases frequently used in openly advertised work or commissions specifically for artists, such as “unfortunately, no budget is available for the artist”, or “unfortunately, this opportunity is unpaid”.

Read my interview about this project at the Venice Agendas site and read (at a-n News) about how I got on in my quest to generously distribute exposure and warm, fuzzy feelings in return for work.

Thanks to my assistant Claire Lukehurst, to Manuel Vasson for stealth photography, and to all the workers, providers and makers who took part, shared their opinions and totally got where I was coming from. Apart from that one painter. He was kind of a dick.

Photos (below) by Manuel Vasson

Some clichéd images of artists, although there’s hardly any other kind…