Friday, June 3, 2011

Dropping a Dime on the Questionable World of Art Prizes

One of my favorite outdated slang phrases is “drop a dime,” which alludes to the days when a phone call still cost 10 cents and means to tell the truth about someone or something—essentially, to call them out. Last April, controversial Australian artist Richard Bell admitted that he picked the winner of the Sir John Sulman Prize, Australia’s most prestigious art prize since 1936, by tossing a coin onto a floor covered with artists’ names. The lucky coin landed on Peter Smeeth’s name, making The Artist’s Fate the winning submission. Bell (shown above, holding the now infamous coin) still refuses to apologize, claiming that “[m]ost artists know what these prizes are about. They’ve got very little to do with art and much more to do with the institution.” Ever the agent provocateur, Bell dropped a dime on the reality of art prizes with his coin stunt and started a new discussion of what the fate of art prizes should be. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Dropping a Dime on the Questionable World of Art Prizes."

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