Friday, November 14, 2008

Lists without Listlessness in Banff

Well, the Trading Secrets conference at Banff is officially over. There's much I'm sure that will happen tonight unofficially that will be significant to its participants, but I will not be party to it, which is fine and good.

Immediate impressions of the conference are hard to parse. But one thing is clear: People, even art people, love a good top ten list. I write this knowing that it is also a guilty pleasure of many, whether posted in Artforum or on Q107.

Basically, there were two whole sessions at the conference--two of the most anticipated and enjoyed, I should say--that hinged on this premise. Top ten lists were offered by everyone from Mexican curator and Tate advisor Cuauhtémoc Medina to Vancouver artist run centre director and Bard grad Candice Hopkins, from yet-unbuilt Warsaw Museum of Modern Art rep Joanna Mytkowska to new Barbican curator and Family Guy aficionado Francesco Manacorda.

White Columns director Matthew Higgs delivered the coup de grace on the procedure when today he asked each of the 90 or so people in attendance to state one thing that inspired them this year. Answers included "mountains" and "skiing" as well as "my brother returning from Iraq" and "Obama's acceptance speech". If only there had been more time to talk about such things (well, I suppose some more of these preferences could be shared this evening!). Hopefully I will try to transcribe the list at some point.

In any case, in this spirit of the list, Printed Matter No Input Books has published a bootleg edition of all of Artforum's Top 10 Lists, with the book available at Printed Matter. Only 200 copies have been printed, said AA Bronson, and I'd be surprised if any are still available, but if you're as big a top 10 junkie as the rest of us seem to be, do try to get yourself a copy.


Anonymous said...

The Top Ten book was not published by Printed Matter; it was published by No Input Books. Printed Matter does sell it, however.

Leah Sandals said...

Hey, thanks for the correction. The way Matthew Higgs was going on about it, I must have missed that in the shuffle! The post is soon to be updated.