Project 2: Question for Seller

The coursework asks us to consider the work of Nicky Bird who found images on ebay and when buying them, asked the seller why they were being sold.  She then put them in the gallery with the answers from the sellers and then re-sold them at auction.

Does their presence on a gallery wall give these images an elevated status?

I am not sure if it is an elevated status, but it gives them status once again.  These images I assume were tucked away and forgotten, so having them placed in a gallery makes them a part of the ‘world’ again.  But, yes, I guess in some way it does elevate their status since anything that is on a gallery wall we consider maybe a little more carefully, even if we in the end, don’t like the work (I am not moved by this work).  But for that vrief moment before judgement sets in, the work is elevated from its prior status.

Where does their meaning derive from?

Similar to the comet photos from the beginning of the course, the meaning comes from the thought the artist put into curating the work.  Meaning is made from the juxtaposition of the image(s) and the text which is the answer to why they were being sold.  But also our own context comes into the meaning as we look at the images, regardless of the text, and wonder who these people were an why nobody cares about the photographs. We start to draw on our own family history and maybe even wonder what will happen to images of us when we die.  So the meaning here is prompted by the artist, but filled in by the viewer.

When they are sold (again on eBay, via auction direct from the gallery) is their value increased by the fact that they are now ‘art’?

I think yes, I mean, they clearly had little value when they were being sold, so by the curation here the photographs have been re-contextualized so the meaning, while likely different from the original, has been given a new face lift.


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