THIS IS ART NOW | Thomas Garman

April 25, 11-5pm 

THIS IS ART NOW is a series of posters, flyers, and postcards made using stencils, rubber stamps and photocopies. The posters and flyers have been hung throughout the city of Chicago on bulletin boards, empty exterior walls, and in windows for the last two years. The postcards have been mailed (unsolicited) to artists and art galleries throughout the United States over the same period. 

When used in the context of a poster, flyer or postcard, the phrase “This is art now” functions as an illocutionary act. To give another example of an illocutionary act: the chairperson of a meeting closes a meeting by saying “This meeting is adjourned.” The meeting is adjourned because the chairperson said that it is adjourned. In the realm of conceptual art, John Baldessari's I am making art also functions as an illocutionary act: the utterance creates the aesthetic reality by means of the utterance itself. 

I approached Spoke because I am interested in the way that the poster hangs conceptually in the gallery space: how the space plays a legitimizing function that gives a context to the phrase THIS IS ART NOW and elevates the poster into the realm of real art object. In particular, I find the reference of the word “This” aesthetically interesting insofar as it occurs in the context of an art gallery.