Subject: upcoming art exhibition and on-line auction
Date: Tue May 18 1999 - 23:56:40 EDT
THE APPRAISAL, a project by JENNIFER DALTON
Exhibition and On-line Auction
Installed in the office at Steffany Martz Gallery,
529 West 20th Street, 6th Floor
and on-line at http://www.logicpilots.com/appraisal.nsf
May 27 - June 26, 1999
Opening Reception in the gallery: Thursday, May 27, 1999,
***Following is a press release for the exhibition***
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Steffany Martz is pleased to present THE APPRAISAL, an
installation by Jennifer Dalton that will be exhibited in the gallery's
The Appraisal originates in the artist's experience of
working for several years at an international auction house. Inspired by
witnessing daily the process by which value is ascribed to art and other
objects, Dalton attempts to pin down the ethereal concepts of personal
"meaning" and "value" by cataloguing and placing a monetary value on every
object that she owns--not as a professional appraiser, but as an artist.
Dalton uses a Fair Market Value appraisal of the contents of
her apartment conducted by Christie's as a starting point. In contrast to
their brief and low-value official document, she has created a more detailed
and personal appraisal of virtually every single item in her possession.
Over 70 pages long and accompanied by 300 snapshot photographs of every item
in her apartment, The Appraisal is an atlas of an artist's humble life.
Everything has been listed, described and photographed for reference--from
books written by ex-boyfriends to the results of over ten years of her work
as a visual artist to three exceptionally large and fluffy housecats.
Dalton's descriptions don't stop at the merely physical, she also details
the provenance--or origin--of every item she describes, tracing the path of
personal belongings as they have changed hands, making their inevitable way
toward her Brooklyn apartment.
To take her investigation of the value of objects
full-circle, Dalton is offering a selection of her belongings for sale on
the web auction site eBay (http://www.ebay.com). The bidding process will determine
the items' "true" value, since the dollar amount that the bidding reaches
will constitute how much money an actual buyer is willing to exchange for
each object. Viewers can also view the entire project online at
The Appraisal is a self-portrait by possessions, exploring
our culture's equation of personal worth with the ownership of socially
meaningful objects, clothing and furniture. This project explores the limits
of what can be learned about a person by examining his or her belongings,
while at the same time indulging--literally--our very human inclination to
peer into each others' closets, bookshelves and medicine cabinets.
There will be an open house viewing at Jennifer Dalton's
Williamsburg apartment from 5-8pm on Saturday, June 5th. Contact Jennifer
Dalton at 718.218.7248 for information and directions.
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