“Movilizada por el arte aprendí a contar”

ArteBA ’07 special edition. Thursday May 17th 2007. No. 1

Cynthia Cohen’s Movilizada por el arte aprendí a contar (Moved by Art I Learned to Count) (1969) consists of an electronic panel that shows the volume of sales generated in arteBA 2007. The measurement records the purchases of works of art, as well as those made at the bars, bookstores and of entrance tickets. The data is loaded into a computer connected to the display, so that the numbers change as sales increase. The counting is done by a group of people who move around the fair with a T-shirt that says: Arte no es realidad (Art is not reality). In doing so, the artist works with a certain irony, reflecting through humor on the difference between price and value, the quantification criteria in art fairs, the idea of art and consumption, the commodification of culture and the notion of success linked to sales. In this new paradigm, the pages of theory in cultural supplements are being replaced by the figures paid at auctions, the marchand is sometimes more linked to the idea of the dealer and the amateur buyer loses ground with the push of investors. The artist works within the same system that she explains, using the mechanisms of the market and sponsorship (Chandon and Grupo Gastronómico de Buenos Aires) to show the coexistence of two spheres that seldom have contact with each other, the art market and the art world, which continues to run on the margins of mass media exhibitionism. Cohen studied at the Escuela de Arte Pirilidiano Pueyrredón (Prilidiano Pueyrredón Art School) and attended the workshops of María Mihanovich, Marcia Schvartz and Pablo Suárez.