Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nathalie Petrowski is wrong, wrong, and wrong


I'm just about caught up with my backlog, woo-hoo! It obviously was a slow news day on Tuesday, because Nathalie Petrowski wrote about a decision that Hydro-Quebec made, like, in May or something. basically they have decided to go anti-art and have stopped spending the approximately $200K/year that they used to on Quebecois art.

Ms. Petrowski parrots the party line of AGAC (and I would presume RAAV, and all the other arts organizations) and laments the fact that they have, quote, unquote, stopped buying art.

First of all, I would presume that Hydro-Quebec has stopped buying art as much as they have stopped buying desks and chairs. For tax purposes, here in Quebec (and Canada) art is considered to be like furniture, and I can't imagine that some newly minted associate vice-president of raping and pillaging virgin forest is going to accept a hand me down desk, nor do I think that said VP would accept someone else's aesthetic choices on the walls of their office. I could imagine that Hydro-Quebec has stopped buying art in the organized fashion that they used to, quite possibly because they either want to get rid of their curator, or he is retiring or some other internal political reason like that.

Secondly, if all they used to spend was a piddly $200,000, then in my eyes, they were bring Quebecois art down, and keeping it down. Yes, in the 60s, 70s, and 80s getting your work in the Hydro-Quebec art collection was quite the feather in your hat. But these days, $200K doesn't go as far as it used to. And I would go so far as to venture that Quebecois Art would be better served by being forced to find better buyers.

Sort of similar to that first time when you say to your mom, "I'd love to sell you this painting as well, but in actual fact there is someone else out there who likes it and is willing to pay three times what I would sell it to you for. Yes, I love you mom, but at some point the apron strings need to be broken."

Edit [9h]: Never mind, everything is ok.