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Stealable art exhibition.

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
The same gallery, in Shinagawa, Tokyo had an experimental event last week where exhibited pieces were up for grabs. It was originally conceived as a low-key event that might attract some covert thievery, where would-be robbers were told they could raid the gallery from midnight and only take one piece at a time. The exhibition was designed as an “experiment,” a new look at the relationship between creators and consumers. The exhibition was originally planned to last 10 days.

The rooms were emptied in less than 10 minutes. The police needed to be called for crowd control. Several artworks appeared on online auction sites within hours with price tags as high as ¥100,000.

Sources:
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Jérôme,

Another fab link 4 us: thanks!

I love the idea of this give away, as it might be used to introduce folk to artists who otherwise wouldn’t get into the “news cycles” and it gets the work some public presences, otherwise so hard to come by.

I would add to that an ankle bracelet and 60 seconds to steal before the bracelet has to be deactivated outside the store, to prevent a shock! That would add a motivation for order.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
The important detail here, at least for me, is that the goods were resold within hours. That speaks for organised looting, as the sale must have been organised prior to the exhibition opening. I don't know about others, but I find it pretty sad that so many people apparently just saw this particular exhibition as an occasion to make a quick buck and simply organise themselves to loot the place and resell the goods.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I like the idea especially is the Art is kept and enjoyed by the “thief”.

I would have all the thieves register and be given a QR code and all art bar-codes so they can follow up the use of the artwork! I would like to learn about taste, simple opportunism, greed, ownership versus sincere appreciation.

That the art would be rapidly removed is of no surprise, but with this first iteration of the stealing art experiment, we have learned little!

Were the pictures actually framed? That is an important extra labor and material cost!

Asher
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
That the art would be rapidly removed is of no surprise, but with this first iteration of the stealing art experiment, we have learned little!
The crime rate in Japan is very low. I think the results came as a surprise to the organisers.

Were the pictures actually framed? That is an important extra labor and material cost!
It seems that some of it was. There are some pictures in the japantimes article cited in the first message.
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
Surely that’s the point of the exercise. Looking at different interactions of people with art.
Like an investment, the thief stole and sold. Not much different to a full time investor doing the same thing.
Looking at art is for those who are motivated that way.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
The point of the exercise was officially to look at the relation between art and patrons. Indeed the exhibitor learned that, for some patrons, the relation is one of money. That should not be surprising as the modern art market has developed itself to cater more for investors and less for people wanting to look at art.

The point that worries me is a bit different and maybe I can explain it with an analogy. Suppose that your grand mother would bake cookies, set up a garage stand and give them away to children passing by. Would you, as a child, have set up a party of 10 to take up all the cookies and later opened a stand to sell them to other children? This event looks about the same to me.

It is difficult to point out what exactly worries me, but I have a feeling that it is ok when one bakes cookies and there are so many hungry children that the cookie jar is empty after 10 minutes. Not so much when the jar is empty because some children came here first to set up a business with free cookies.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Still the method of distribution has merits. We just need to qualify people somehow to maximize opportunities for the art lovers and limit the profiteers. How I haven’t figured out.

One idea might be art competitions by children and the prize is art for their home.

But I do like the idea of distribution of art outside of museums and commercial galleries selling works!

Asher
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
The point of the exercise was officially to look at the relation between art and patrons. Indeed the exhibitor learned that, for some patrons, the relation is one of money. That should not be surprising as the modern art market has developed itself to cater more for investors and less for people wanting to look at art.

The point that worries me is a bit different and maybe I can explain it with an analogy. Suppose that your grand mother would bake cookies, set up a garage stand and give them away to children passing by. Would you, as a child, have set up a party of 10 to take up all the cookies and later opened a stand to sell them to other children? This event looks about the same to me.

It is difficult to point out what exactly worries me, but I have a feeling that it is ok when one bakes cookies and there are so many hungry children that the cookie jar is empty after 10 minutes. Not so much when the jar is empty because some children came here first to set up a business with free cookies.
Surely a gift is a gift without conditions! Jerome.
Placing your own ethics onto others as a part of the bargain is a contract.

consider the child who sees an opportunity to gather free cookies, sell them for his own gain and use the money to help his struggling family. Surely that is more enterprising and efficient than having one free cookie.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I see. Times have changed and apparently you find it normal that being considerate to people giving out freebies is out of fashion. I found that a bit surprising, but that must be just me.
 

Tom dinning

Registrant*
I see. Times have changed and apparently you find it normal that being considerate to people giving out freebies is out of fashion. I found that a bit surprising, but that must be just me.
Did I say that, Jerome?
Again, you read into what is here as what you think should be the case.
I make no commitment. I have given a possible scenario that might hold for some.
Personally, I’d consider greed would be a motivator either way and be quite content to read about it in the papers the next day.
From that you might conclude I’m lazy or not an art lover or some other bias you carry.
My personal bias is to assume there’s an ulterior motive by the giver. One of disposing of rubbish he no longer values. Or ever did.
The driving force for many will be the chance to make a dollar. It’s not mine, nor, it appears, not yours. Or am I also making rash assumptions.
 

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Of course I "read into what is here". The facts are pretty simple and recorded by the links I posted: gallery, exhibition, art, crowd, auction sites. Anything beyond that is my interpretation.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
If I did this, I wouldn’t give away prints with my name on I thought were less than excellent.

So it would surprise me that a gallery with a name would give away Art it considered “rubbish”! Why risk hurting their brand!

Asher
 
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