Contemporary Art as Reality TV November 25, 2009 at 5:30 pm
The BBC has come up with a very nice programme proposition: success in contemporary art as an exploit for reality TV. (Those of you who have access to BBC iplayer can see the show here; a review is here.) School of Saatchi has twelve artist contestants struggling for favour with the unseen collector, Mr. Charles himself. What’s lovely about this show is how it has subverted the conventions of reality TV to fit the contemporary art world. There is no voting, for instance: instead of a viewer poll, all the decisions are made off camera by Saatchi. The tasks the artists are set are entertaining, but there is no pretense that success or failure at them matters in the slightest. The man with money has all the power: everyone else, none. How modern.