Blue chip gallery classism changes what counts as proximal and relevant and redefines our relationship with contemporary art, and therefore must be questioned.

Art basel represents a form of hegemony, a system of rule in which a minority can rule over a majority (not) by brute force or deception but through consensus.

What we are seeing is not only the pervasive application of art basel as a model or template for organizing society but also the emergence of art basel as an episteme, a system for organizing knowledge about contemporary art and life. To better understand this development, it should be pointed out that the art basel model and the art basel episteme serve two different functions: whereas the model is used to design and build actual art basels, the episteme allows us to understand the “art baseled” world, to see everything in terms of art basels, and to apply art basel logic even to things that are not art basels.

The most consequential effect of superimposing this technological template and episteme onto social structures is the rendering of illegible of everything that is not a dependent artist. I call this effect blue chip gallery classism.

Michalis

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