AN AMAZING COINCIDENCE! An artist who responded last week that she had "applied to White Columns and have kept my applications current and updated and have resubmitted at least 4 times, but have never, in 2 years, gotten a yes or no, even after emails and phone calls" got her White Columns Artist Registry rejection YESTERDAY! Weird, we were JUST talking about this last week.
Here is a quote from White Columns Curator/Director Matthew Higgs, from Clive Robertson's Policy Matters...
"I don't sympathize with empowerment, survival, battle, frustration and struggle. This essentially seems to be a defeatist or negative position. The idea of us being outsiders, I don't agree with at all. I do not recognize that concept [in the art field]. I'm an optimist. I genuinely cannot believe how exciting life is everyday...I don't see any struggle in the field we work in [which] is largely fuelled by the spirit of generosity."
Matthew, CHECK YOUR ARTIST REGISTRY INBOX!
A little more from the Clive Robertson book -
"Higgs leaned heavily on the purpose of artistic work "as a looking for or thinking about what doesn't exist in the world," to explain why "my practice as a curator is largely selfish. I make exhibitions that I want to see...I spend almost no time thinking about who the audience might be for the work I do." Current museum curators of modern or contemporary art are hardly likely to make the "fuck the audience" public statement that Higgs does; however, using the rhetoric of selfish concern for art or artist's intentions as an excuse to bracket out issues of empowerment or struggle has very much been the standard bailiwick of male art museum curators everywhere. While Higgs' personal ascension from Joy Division fanzine editor to the London's ICA and beyond is, for some, inspirational, it perhaps stretches the usefulness of a boundary-less concept of a curatorial practice within artist-run culture."
White Columns is currently showing Sleeve Notes - writing for/and or on record sleeves.
I'm thinking that as long as Higgs is running White Columns, it doesn't matter too much whether or not you are included in the registry. He isn't curating from it, he isn't interested in it, it doesn't sound like he has any interest in even the idea of it. Applying to that registry automatically identifies you as a possibly frustrated struggler, and Matt said (above) that he does not recognize that concept.
Lauren Ross, the curator/director previous to Higgs, often included artists from the registry. All of the artists from her last show at White Columns, Semi-Lucid, are currently listed in the registry -
Previous to that she curated Breaking Ground, of which eight of the nine included artists are currently in the registry (including Gedi Sibony), before that was RANDOM ORDER, of which all but two of the nine included artists are currently in the registry, and before that she co-curated Regarding Gloria... with five of those artists currently listed in the registry. There are plenty of other Ross-curated shows between those, and previous to, with artist registry artists.
I like research but I'm tired from trying to find a registry artist in a Higgs show. I give up.