Art shows at the Sleepless Goat Cafe & Worker’s Co-operative will be determined by concensus of the workers, or by the art-coordinator him or herself (when empowered to do so by a concensus of the workers), based on the portfolio provided by the artist (ideally, this portfolio should contain not just a sampling of the artist’s work, but the actual pieces that the artist intends to display*), other relevant information pertaining to the art or artist, and the following principles:
- We encourage the presentation of a variety of different mediums, approaches and artistic perspectives/identities over time. Preference will be given to shows that jive with our attempts to foster a spirit of diversity and innovation.
- The art should be appropriate to our restaurant/cafe context. The art should not be a health hazard and should not be so gory or otherwise disturbing that it makes our visitors uncomfortable or potentially diminishes their appetites. Art that extols the virtues of tipping well is A-OK.
- We will not accept art that carries sexist, racist or homophobic overtones, or art that in any way reinforces any systemic oppression.
- We will not accept art that fetishizes or exoticizes “other” persons, cultures (national or social) for the curiosity, amusement, shock or otherwise voyeuristic pleasure of the artist/viewer. This does not mean that we will only accept art that is “safe” and avoids dealing with so-called “marginal” communities or lifestyles, but that we demand that such art be conscious and respectful of the concerns and potential pitfalls surrounding issues of representation. It is also important to understand the effect of the commercial (and commercializing) context of our restaurant and the way in which this can further aggravate issues of representation.
- We will not accept art that presents images or artifacts of (or from) an “other” culture (national or social) in such a way that those images or artifacts are made to represent or stand in for the real lived social conditions of that culture. We reject such objectification and commodification of another’s cultural experience (removed from its lived context) as an imperialistic tool that increases our perceived access to another culture while short-circuiting the complex reality, vitality and diversity of these lived social conditions.
- The price of an artwork may not be put on the wall, but may be put in an artist’s book which can be made available to customers. This book should also contain the artist’s contact information; it is not the responsibility of staff to handle inquiries regarding the purchase of artwork in the cafe (other than to direct people to this book).
- All artwork in the show should remain on the wall until the entire show is over; it is no good to have people who buy artworks removing them and leaving blank sections of wall mid-show.
- Artists should be responsible for the installation and removal of their artwork. This includes providing their own tools and hardware. The installation process will be supervised by a worker designated as curator by concensus of the workers to ensure that the pieces displayed reflect the portfolio submitted and that the work is arranged attractively and safely around the restaurant.
*In some cases, in which only one or two pieces of a potential show are considered inappropriate for the cafe (based upon the principles of our art policy), the art coordinator will inform the artist of this decision. The artist may then decide if she/he wants (or is able) to have a full show without these selected pieces.