Drawing occupies a strange land in the art world. It seems that every other month or so, someone announces the rebirth of drawing (usually coinciding with the opening of an exhibition focusing on drawing, strangely enough) -- which of course is the passive-aggressive way of saying that it drawing had, in fact, been dead up until now.
What does an exhibition space lend to an artwork? Most galleries are careful to keep their walls looking pristine in an effort to achieve the “negative space” that modernism insisted would allow art objects to be free of context, to exist in some sort of pure state of art. Hogwash of course. The context simply shifts to being a white-walled gallery -- our chosen temples of art, which grant everything shown inside an aura of the sacred. But would an artwork be diminished by being shown in a factory? Some might. Others could very well be improved by it, no sarcasm intended. Context is always going to be a part of the equation, and its importance can by downplayed or played up.
A couple of weeks ago, I met a woman named Michiko Ogura who announced with tongue-in-cheek pride that she represented the smallest gallery in Tokyo -- and added, “...maybe in Japan.” Now how could I possibly turn down an opportunity to see something like that? Would it be one of those tiny buildings jammed in a space where no building was meant to go? Would it be in a broom closet? Would it be bigger than a bread-box?