7. Exposure

Throughout his work, Bunn consistently objects to the very concept of the 'gallery'. In part this can be seen as an ongoing thread in the Conceptualist tradition and one which, up to a point, Bunn is agreement with - namely, the underlying notion that an idea (for a work of art) is as important as it's execution and thus no more or less worthy of gallery inclusion. But at a deeper post-conceptualist level, Bunn has moved beyond this narrow point and for him the very idea of a gallery dedicated to selected art - whether theoretical or completed - is repugnant. And here he makes that point with a reference to the Tate exhibition of his work. 

To the art student, to the unchallenging artist - indeed as to the 'mere' spectator of art - the idea of the gallery is very appealing. Within it's hallowed walls are presented the 'best' works of art by the 'best' artists. One pays to enter and one is expected to revere what is on show. But to Bunn and others such as Bergerman and Hanski this is all a complete nonsense. They see the gallery as, first and foremost, a business. A place where things called worthy are hung not because they are 'good' but in order to maintain their financial worth. And so it is that they redefine the notion of 'genius' as, in Bunn's own words, "not something a person has, but something which visits someone from time to time. (And) In it's absence, the worst possible dross may be produced." In short, Bunn is at the leading edge today of those artists who reject the gallery, reject the idea of great aritst, masters and indeed the whole notion of genius (in art) as it is currently understood. And this rejection is brilliantly stated with the link to the Tate exhibtion.

Of course it is to the very converse of all of this which Bunn draws our attention in the Dix Semblaient Monts. Here he makes it clear that the idea of being hung in the gallery has to be accpeted or brought within the artist. And one is left to assume that such 'bringing in' must also be accompanied by a sense of the pretence of the whole gallery experience. Ultimately the warning is clear: the work of the artist who fails to see the Duchampian humour of the gallery is lost.