Paper Monument’s first pamphlet, I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette, has contributions from 38 artists, critics, curators, and dealers on the sometimes serious and sometimes ridiculous topic of manners in the art world.
The art world is now both socially professional and professionally social. Curators visit artists studios; collectors, dealers, and journalists assemble for a reception and reconvene later for dinner; everyone goes to parties. We exchange introductions and small talk; art is bought and sold; careers (and friendships) brighten or fade. In each situation, certain behaviors are expected while others are silently discouraged. Sometimes, what s appropriate in the real world would be catastrophic in the art world, and vice versa.
Making these distinctions on the spot can be nerve-wracking and disastrous. So we asked ourselves: What is the place of etiquette in art? How do social mores establish our communities, mediate our critical discussions, and frame our experience of art? If we were to transcribe these unspoken laws, what would they look like? What happens when the rules are broken? Since we didn t have all the answers, we politely asked our friends for some help.