Monday, May 10, 2004

Being a good citizen


I was down at Complexe Desjardins this morning and beyond being fascinated by the fountain they have there for about 5 minutes, they did have something there that seemed intriguing. It seems that Unilever Canada has decided that one way that they might be able to get people to buy more Dove soap is by traveling an exhibition around called "Dove presents: Beyond Compare, Women photographers on Beauty." It is hanging around in front of the food court in the aforementioned Complexe Desjardins.

[after viewing the blog, it seems that the entire on-line version isn't working here. So if you want to see it in all its glory try this: http://www.dovebeyondcompare.ca/]

Now it might seem on the surface that this is an example of what is currently known as "Good Corporate Citizenship." But then again, do you buy Dove? To my mind it raises a bunch of questions, most of which I am either not in a position to answer, or not in the mood to debate. So I apologize in advance for the lack of answers to the questions.

1. What soap do you buy?
2. What soap do you think the secretaries at Complexe Desjardins buy?
3. Do the secretaries at Complexe Desjardins go to Art Galleries?
4. Do you go to Art Galleries?

So do you think that this means that Unilever Canada thinks that most of the art world is dirty and stinky?

In none of the literature that I've been able to find has there been mention of curatorial responsibility.

Clodine Desrochers,

Carla Rice,

and Kristin Booth
are mentioned as helping with the exhibition. But somehow I don't think "a rising Canadian actress, "a clinical program specialist," and the host of "Les saisons du Clodine" had much say in picking the pictures.

Now, I like the idea that whoever did the curating isn't getting their name in neon letters. What I would prefer is if they really did not have any curating, ie say a year ago there were forms in your Dove Soap box and you could send in pictures of "beauty" and then get them included in the exhibit. Then I gotta ask how much did everybody get paid?

Also, then since this is about "beauty" I gotta ask how and why they chose the pictures that they chose. Not all of them are professional photographers, but way too many of them are. Those that are seem to be mostly commercial photographers (represented by companies) than artists (courtesy of a gallery).

And I can't forget to ask why Unilever Canada decided to exhibit this in a shopping mall. Is it a case of going to where the folk are? Or is it a case of no gallery would touch it with a ten foot pole? Personally bringing art to the masses is good. Bringing art to the masses in order to sell more soap ain't so hot.

OK, I gotta get back to work (the band just showed up). I'll try to deal with Parachute tomorrow.

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