Buy a Positive Review
Conny Blom at Art Moscow 2003
April 22-25


Certainly one of the most interesting art projects shown at this years Art Moscow is Swedish artist Conny Blom's "Buy a Positive Review". Blom's work often deals with the downsides of the capitalistic society and does so without becoming moralizing and pragmatic. He offers no simplified resolutions but always manages to bring urgent topics into the light with a certain twist that may make you look at things in a different way in the future. Blom carries out his projects with a great humanistic and social pathos.

Earlier this year he addressed patent and copyright issues with a much discussed computer installation at the highly praised international exhibition "Cultural Terrorism" at Galleri Valfisken in Simrishamn, Sweden. Together with the other participating artists Heath Bunting, Minerva Cuevas and Anna Brag, Blom made this the most relevant and interesting exhibition in Sweden so far this year. At "Cultural Terrorism" the theme was given, but now at Art Moscow the fair itself becomes the subject. In a country still young in it's capitalistic system the fair concept might be seen as something of a symbol of blatant commercialism turning art into numbers and dollar signs. A strange Market where success means shaking the right hands and kissing the right ass more than providing thought provoking works of art.

In "Buy a Positive Review" Conny Blom plays with his background as a renowned art critic and art historian while simultaneously questioning the possibility of objective critique. The idea is simple. For 300 Euro any artist, gallery owner or curator can buy a personalized, positive review of work and/or exhibitions. Blom will look at the art in question and then write in appreciative terms. The signature on the review assures that the opinions within the text really are Blom's, but at the same time it transforms the paper into an artwork and hence to something quite ambiguous. Blom slides smoothly between the roles as an art critic and an artist making his work into an effective mix of forceful satire and investigative contemporary art. What at the surface might seem only to corrupt Blom's credibility, turns into a full fledged attack on both art critics and the art business in general. Definitely a multilayered work by one of the most interesting Swedish artists right now.