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Brian Belott to Sell Works at New York Museums for Arbitrary Prices, from 5¢ to $5,000

Belott.

CHRIS SANDERS

This Sunday, New Yorkers will have a shot at owning works by Brian Belott. But the price, depending on when they try to buy, might be fairly high or very low.

At a press conference about Performa this morning, the curator Jens Hoffmann revealed that he will be curating a Belott work for the upcoming performance-art biennial, and that in order to raise funds for the work, which will be hosted by the Abrons Art Center, he and the artist will sell works at New York museums on Sunday. The works will be arbitrarily priced, according to Hoffmann, who is also currently curating the upcoming Front International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Some works may cost just 5¢; others might go worth $5,000. (As a point of reference for interested buyers, Belott’s stone calculators have been priced at around $600 to $1,500.)

Why that pricing, you ask? It’s meant to fit with Performa’s focus on the legacy of Dada and its emphasis on irrationality.

Hoffmann said that Belott will begin selling works at the Whitney Museum, and then move on to other institutions, including the New Museum, MoMA PS1, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum. The work is an homage to a 1963 protest by Tony Conrad and Jack Smith where the two artists walked outside of MoMA wearing sandwich boards that read “DEMOLISH ART MUSEUMS!

Hoffmann called the act of selling Belott’s works “anarchic,” noting that it might not technically be allowed at the institutions they intend to visit. “We expect to be kicked out of museums pretty quickly,” the curator said. To ensure that you get first dibs on Belott’s work before he gets booted from his first museum, you’ll want to start at the Whitney, where Belott plans to start peddling art at 2 p.m. this Sunday.

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