An investigation of the issue of social class in contemporary art.
Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie investigates the latent issue of class underlying the field of contemporary visual art. On the one hand, it raises the question of whether a given socioeconomic background still helps define your artistic career—and to which point the said career might reflect or consolidate the hierarchies in question. On the other hand, the project asks whether the traditional analytical tools at our disposal are helpful in such an examination of the art world today.
Class inevitably raises awkward questions regarding the very participants, their backgrounds, patrons, and ideological partialities. This is perhaps the reason why the role of class structure has been so easily overlooked in the production and presentation of contemporary art, especially so in an era where artists are coaxed into anthropological framings of their practice. What was it that made gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and nationality eclipse the class issue with such ease? Lapdogs of the Bourgeoisie presents a collaborative project with a number of practitioners that scrutinize their own positions, bias, and gaze within the hierarchy of cultural production. It seeks to identify the levels of affect class has in the field—from artists, through to curators, institutions, and even audiences—and also looks at the hidden anxieties involved, particularly in relation to the actual decision-makers in mainstream art.