Thursday, November 10, 2011

$how me the money

I'm gonna bitch, but hear me out.
I want to support local art, especially made by people who just love to make it, without the pretension of who will see it or where it is placed. I sincerely enjoy a collection of work labeled "outsider" because I have worked with, and continue in the social field of working with people with different abilities. Furthermore, I have several connections to this particular gallery and feel bad saying anything negative... but hear me out!
Edgeware Gallery is boasting a new opening titled "the Money Show" and I have to admit the theme feels a little, unworthy.

They have accumulated a collection of different artifacts to show, including 'hobo nickles' a
nd roman coins, along with screen printed dollar bills as a tribute to Andy Warhol's famous $ series. Steve Edelson, Edgeware Gallery’s director explains the idea behind the exhibit: “Money is on the minds of many people in the San Diego community and throughout the country. Although it was a challenge to organize this special event, we thought it was timely given the ‘Occupy San Diego’ protests and, of course, the upcoming presidential election.”


Ever listen to the The Beatles "You never give me your money" song? The genius behind the chorus " only give me your funny paper..." is a quote I refer to too often. In this economy, with the election/ protests/ deficit, I am a little suspicious about an "art" show that feels more like a theme park than a community event. I just question how any of these items communicate anything more than a common symbol. Can't we do better than that? What's the money here anyway? There is a man here with a disability who is lucky enough to have the financial support to open a gallery where he can show his work, and what he does is phen
omenal. It should be shown. However, his residency at this space is secondary to some trivial idea's that don't encourage expression or individuality, but instead squash it.

In fact at the end of the press release, Edgeware states that 100% of the proceeds from the show benefit Autism research, as "autism now affects nearly 1 in 100 children born today; and unfortunately, the epidemic shows no sign of retreating." What could be more offensive than placing a local artist in an inclusive space where his own community is invited, then display his work under the guise that somehow, he should be fixed, and "unfortunately" that is never going to happen. But give us money so that we can continue to look into it, 'cus somehow, someday there might just be a way we can make everyone the same! Say what, now?!

I can't quote it enough, "diversity is a normal aspect of humanity" (Norman Kunc) and it
's unfair to commodify someones talents then disregard their makeup as something less than.

I almost can't stand to attend. I almost want to silently step back and never set foot in there again. And a part of me, a big, hard-to-calm part of me wants to stand out there and loudly protest like the Occupiers downtown. But instead I'm going to go to the opening for one reason. I like Mark Rimland. As a person, as an artist, as a human being I have met and enjoyed. As a neighbor and a friend, I will support him through the highs, lows and moments of complete bullshit in his life. And to me, that's money.

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