"Frances Goodman’s eponymous garage sale playfully puts forward an alternative approach to selling processes such as evaluation and the commercialisation of art. The sale is a happening that coincides with the FNB Joburg Art Fair (likely one of the most important art-market events on the African continent today) as a fringe event. The artist, who coincidentally shares the same name as the gallery representing her work in South Africa, by organising the show at her home, questions herself as a practitioner and the relation of affectivity that bonds the artist to her work. The sale is an informal, non-curated retrospective of her unsold oeuvre. Comprising unique student pieces, better-known work returned from international shows and fairs and completely new work, the sale is an exploration of the artist’s private world. The Goodman Gallery is a collaborator on this alternative sales concept, which is simultaneously an artist statement and a performance.
This presentation of Frances Goodman’s ‘leftovers’ could be seen as a meditation on and analysis of the value of art. What is the actual value of artworks long disappeared in storage or not shown at all within a fast-moving and consuming society and business? Ultimately, can we afford to consciously de-valuate art, reconsider prices and include the artefact in an economical production-line process like any other? Can we desacralize art? And, if so, at whose and which cost?
Goodman understands too well the ‘housewife’ stereotype inherent in the concept of the Goodman Garage and conventional reading of a classic garage sale. She playfully positions herself in an über-feminine environment, providing a ‘50s-like scenario (made of lemonades, cakes, tea and old-fashioned day gowns) that encapsulates the essence of conformist domesticity. Whilst she parades herself as the perfect host, making everyone feeling at home with the aid of the ‘girls’, she persistently questions our assumptions about gender roles and societal rules, art, economical exchange and, more broadly speaking, power. Her strength, determination and courage subtly surface during the negotiations, during which she has to act as a business-oriented manager whilst retaining the mellow gentleness her setting suggests, as well as a certain impersonal distance from her own work which is the object of the transactions.
Nothing is for free, everything is for sale, everything must go!"
Excerpts from an essay written by Lorenzo Fusi to accompany the performance.