To the concerned reader of www.jessiebullivant.com,
Re: Specific Objects, 2016
I write to you from my position as co-director of KNULP gallery, Sydney, wishing to express my support for Jessie Bullivant’s recent work Specific Objects (2016).
The piece consists of two unwanted presents received by the artist, which were re-packaged in kitchen-grade aluminium foil and re-gifted to KNULP as Bullivant’s contribution to the gallery’s annual fundraiser auction of the same year. The subsequent re-sale of these small, metallic prisms – think Judd does Povera – contributed to the gallery’s operational budget for 2017.
As a gesture of support, then, this letter is a reciprocal one; a gift given in return. Bullivant’s thoughtful offering both literally and symbolically engaged an economy of exchange that independent galleries such as KNULP rely upon in order to survive. Without governmental funding, artist run spaces are forced to draw on the artists they exhibit as a resource in-kind. This ubiquitous request for donation was, for Bullivant, an opportunity to explore the different degrees of interpersonal transactions that allow for work to appear in these spaces at all. As with much of her work, Specific Objects took advantage of a contingent aspect of art’s presentation, transforming it into a generative site for her own practice.
In closing I must, in good conscience, also reveal a potential (additional?) conflict of interest within this circular economy of support. As the highest bidder at the 2016 KNULP Annual Fundraiser Auction, I am now also the owner of Bullivant’s Specific Objects. As such, I stand to personally gain from any impact this letter may have on the appreciative value of the work. In order to avoid any accusations of insider trading or unethical speculation, I would like to take this opportunity to state unequivocally that Specific Objects will not, under my discretion, appear on the secondary (tertiary) market. I may, however, re-gift it.
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