dave hickey with
Sari Carel : Often you discuss in
your essays and writings a principle shift that occurred in American culture
and economy as well as in the Art World starting in the early '70s. You
describe this change as having considerable influence on the course of
Contemporary Art since then. What are the origins and consequences of
this paradigm shift?
Dave Hickey: The art world tends to be driven by its market, and throughout
the '50s and the '60s it was a relatively small art world with dealers
and collectors and one or two small museums. It was during that period
that the most powerful and permanent American art in this century was
madefrom Abstract Expressionism and Pop, to Minimalism and Post-Minimalism.
It was, in a real sense, a great Mediterranean moment created by 4000
heavily medicated human beings. And then in the late '60s we had a little
reformation privileging museums over dealers and universities over apprenticeship,
a vast shift in the structure of cultural authority. All of a sudden rather
than an art world made up of critics and dealers, collectors and artists,
you have curators, you have tenured theory professors, a public funding
bureaucracyyou have all of these hierarchical authority figures
selling a non-hierarchical ideology in a very hierarchical way. This really
destroyed the dynamic of the art world in my view, simply because like
most conservative reactions to the '60s it was aimed specifically at the
destruction of sibling societythe society of contemporaries.