One of the sad things about America is the continuing failure to recognise that anything exists outside the national borders, or to give due recognition to the achievements of others. How often do we hear an event advertised as the 'best in the world" or indeed the only one of its kind, when this is obviously untrue.
How many "international" events contain around 50% representation from the USA plus a few token foreigners?
So it is with the upcoming Philagrafika 2010.
The press release states
"The result of almost five years of planning one of the largest art events in the United States and one of the most important print related expositions in the world is about to be realized!"
"One of the most important", the inaugural event hasn't even taken place yet and already its apparently more important than all the pre-existing printmaking events thoughout the globe. What is it they say about not believing your own publicity?
"From January 29th until April 11, 2010, Philadelphia will host Philagrafika 2010, the inaugural presentation of a triennial event that celebrates the role of print in contemporary artistic practice. More than 350 artists are participating in exhibitions and programs at more than 80 cultural organizations and institutions across the city, from the heart of downtown to the surrounding region.
For more information, please visit: www.philagrafika2010.org"
This list of participating artists in the central exhibition notes the country of origin.
There's 35 artists and 14 of them are from the USA. That's 40%. So we have the "most important" printmakers of the world and 40% just happen to be American. *Sigh*. There's two from the UK and only one from China, the country that invented printmaking.
Number of Australian's represented NIL *sigh*
What we have here is an American event, curated by Americans, about Americans but claiming to be of international significance. Yet again.