> would the galleries have called if she didn't have famous friends?

I can't speak to specific case, but 'famous friends' definitely matter... if 
they're "artists." As Shelly says, gallery representation is the key, and 
galleries have to have something to sell. The exchange value of an art 
commodity is partly determined by its connection to a 'scene' or 'movement' ... 
A number of years ago, I attended a conference devoted to the work of a well 
known (but sadly deceased) experimental filmmaker. One of the speakers was a 
very highly placed curator. This person's talk was entirely about the circle of 
artists who had lived near and interacted with the filmmaker, all of them 
identified with media other than film. I was bored stiff by the talk, which 
struck me as mere trivia. But, in hindsight, I can see that from a curatorial 
mindset, the speaker was making an argument for the importance of the 
filmmaker, based on that maker's position in that larger circle of art-world 
developments -- as it happens, the maker did have famous friends (or friends 
who became famous). While utterly pointless from my perspective, the talk may 
have been quite daring for the curator, raising a 'mere filmmaker' to the level 
of the maker's cohorts in 'non-time-based-media'.

In fact, the curator in question could certainly be considered a historical 
force in "the current interest of the museum world in 'all things cinematic'." 

Marilyn wrote:
> given that this interest currently exists, the question becomes what to do 
> with it, and how to ensure that works in film -- from all artists working 
> with it -- are equally valued and given equal respect regarding their 
> presentation. 

While I think Marilyn and I are basically "on the same page", I would submit 
that if one truly does 'get' the economics of the art world, then one has the 
answer to those questions. The museums have to have more than "interest." For 
them to respect the work, they have to value it, and for them the two senses of 
'value' are inextricable. In the art-world definition of art-as-object, owning 
an object means owning its aesthetic uniqueness, and vice versa. So even the 
purchase of an internegative keeps the status of the work inherently low. There 
are other internegs other prints out their. They don't have anything "special." 

The only way the art-world is going to give film art the respect it is due, 
including maintaining the technology to present proper screenings from 
celluloid prints as that technology (sadly, but so it goes) falls to utter 
obsolescence and abandonment elsewhere, is if filmmakers model the public 
presentation and distribution of their work after painting and sculpture. Not 
limited editions. EXCLUSIVE editions. So, to follow my earlier example, if MOMA 
owned Dog Star Man, they would never have more than one print of it at one 
time. They would retire the prints quickly as they became worn, destroying 
them. Thus, if the Tate wanted to have a Brakhage show, they would have to 
borrow MOMAs pristine lovely print. This would be no small favor, so maybe then 
the Tate would 'owe' MOMA a loan of, say, a Gerhard Richter canvas or something 
for a future show in NYC.

One thing that Balsom's discussion would seem to suggest (not that she would 
necessarily state it explicitly) is that a museum model of film, and the co-op 
model of film, are antithetical and cannot coexist. 

> Despite the increasing interpenetration of the worlds of art and experimental 
> film, these lasting ramifications of [the] differing models of distribution 
> and acquisition continue to mark out a divide between the two realms and 
> their treatment in the contemporary museum.

Just now in re-reading Marilyn's OP reply to Balsom, I noticed that Marilyn 
cites Balsom referring to the adoption of a more democratic distribution system 
(e.g. the co-ops) by experimental filmmakers as a "self-insulating" impulse. 
OMG! How cluelessly philistine and self-absorbed can a person be? The co-op 
movement was a heroic attempt to move art outside the walls of the museum, 
which will always have it's values dictated by a social elite, into a wider 

But that was then. One could say that democratic superstructures are dependent 
on conditions in the economic base. Community-driven-distribution of 16mm 
prints was a democratic move in, say, 1960 due to the relative cost of film 
stock and the ready availability of film technology, based on their uses in 
'educational and corporate media." Those days are gone, that economy is gone, 
and with it the democratizing force of print rental. 

So essentially, what I'm saying is that if you want the museums and galleries 
to give film art the respect it is due as ART, then it has to be commodified in 
art-world terms, and the co-op system is a major impediment to that, so, as 
such, film will never achieve its 'rightful place' in the art-world until the 
co-ops go away. (In case anyone wonders how i feel about that, I'll report that 
it makes me want to puke, but I gotta call 'em as I seez 'em.)

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