Rob Pruitt's Flea Market in Venice
This event has had great publicity around the city for a few weeks with eye-catching posters. We didn't really know what to expect; was it really a flea market? Were there really things for sale or was it just a Biennale exhibit made to look like a market?
The stalls were squashed into quite small rooms over two floors in the A Plus A Gallery in San Marco. The effect was slightly overwhelming with visitors, stall holders, artists and curators vying for space and offering their wares. There were stalls selling art works which had been created in advance, paintings on wood, papered stones, wooden spoons, pieces made from found objects, and drawings. But there was also art happening in the moment - a group of artists working on a huge wall sized painting, dresses being sewn to order in one corner by SISSI, portraits painted, fortune tellings, and even street food.
Traditionally, the commercial aspect of art is swept aside or kept from view, but the new context provided by the PERFORMATIVE STRUCTURE of the flea market breaks down such traditional barriers that separate the artist, the work, and the audience. This becomes a reflection upon the DYNAMICS OF INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION IN THE ART WORLD, upon its economical rules, the social value assigned to objects, and the relationship of AUTHENTICITY AND PROPERTY TO THE WORK OF ART.
Rob Pruitt's Flea Market was first shown in New York in 1999. Since then it has appeared at the Frieze Art Fair in 2007, Tate Modern in 2009 and Musée de la Monnaie in Paris in 2012.
Open every day, from 12pm to 8pm
Be quick if you want to visit this event as it is only open until Friday.