The Secret Room in Coral Reef

For the last 10 years, BAZ have been operating a secret Black market biography business. From a secret location within Mike Nelson’s Coral Reef, BAZ have been holding monthly auctions where desperate artists have been bidding hundred’s of NAN bursary pounds in pursuing the emerging artist dream. In a world where a solo show at Bloc can make or break an artist residency application, this a desperate time for the hardworking, earnest yet ultimately untalented artist who is attempting to put the inevitable teaching career on hold.BAZ, ever the opportunists and keen to illustrate entrepreneurial spirit to Arts Council executives have recognized this gap in the market and have created the forum for the willful embellishment of CV’s and biographies.From their non-specific flock papered enclave in Coral Reef, BAZ have recruited the services of the legendary art auctioneers Price Gordon Nelson to sell fake shows and residencies from major institutions in a secondary black market economy that is becoming more lucrative than volunteering at Ikon Gallery (great skip).  

The Rules of Blackmarket Biography Auctioning

1st RULE:  Collect your BAZO’S.

2nd RULE: A BAZO is a form of currency. It takes on a separate persona dependent on the lot being auctioned (i.e. Gubbles, Watkins). These are not, nor should be interpreted as, euphemisms.

3rd RULE: Use your BAZO’s to take part in the Blackmarket Biography Auction. 

4th RULE: Before the Auction begins, abandon your team. You are now out for what you can get. Go solo.

5th Rule: Cultivate, develop or enhance your own twitch, tic or wave to bid on the lots. Be sure that you have enough BAZO’s to pay for the item you’re bidding on, as all purchases are not currently covered by Artist Newsletter public liability insurance.

6th RULE: if the bidding gets high, form an Associates Scheme with other bidders to pool BAZO’s.

7th RULE:  Large sales will be signified by the smashing of Ruth Claxton-esque figurines, thereby increasing the market value of a Birmingham based artist’s work.

8th RULE: Go home.

Nottingham Blackmarket Biography Auction: List of Auction lots 

1. Nottingham Castle – Inclusion in the 2011 British Art Show Group Show  

2. Trade – To be listed as the most listened to This is not a Circular podcast on the Trade website 

3. Reactor - Reactor Membership 2009 

4. Ikon Gallery - Residency in the IKON Gift Shop & TAPAS restaurant 

5. Eastside Projects - Director of Eastside Projects 

6. Nottingham Contemporary - Mentoring by Alex Farquharson 2010  

7. Tether - Founding member of Tether 

8. Primary - Residency at Primary May 2004 - August 2004 

9. Thoresby St - Running a project space for 1 year (2002) at One ThoresbyStreet; four successful exhibitions.   

10. Moot - Solo Show at Moot 

11. S Mark Gubb Internship       

Lot 3: Reactor 

For Sale: Reactor Membership 2009

Reactor is an art group that assembles new, collective realities in which audiences and Reactor member’s co‑participate. They often lock you in a room and turn the lights off.

Reactor projects explore the ways in which the cohesion of social groups is maintained through shared belief systems and collective action. Seeking to transcend the exhibition form, Reactor employ a lateral extension of the possibilities of art practice, encouraging it to spill out from its initial structure into an expanded field of activity. Occasionally this ends in lengthy legal proceedings.

Projects have taken the form of caravan holidays to Torquay, mountain biking in the lake district and pot-holing on Dartmoor. Concerns raised by the Arts Council that these might just be holidays disguised as art projects, were alleviated after five ACE officers enjoyed a nice break in Devon whilst dressed as extras from casualty. 

Being a member of Reactor is not to be taken lightly especially as buying this item will involve you having to read large amounts of Deleuze and looking grumpy whilst growing your hair.

Now who'll give me 50 Nikki Russell’s to start this off?

Lot 5: Eastside Projects

For Sale: Director of Eastside Projects (in case you haven't been one) 

You would become a mildly pivotal director of this multi-changing, garden centre based arts collective. 

During this time you would be involved with a general re arranging of all books and magazines on a daily, sometimes hourly basis, whilst reciting Sol Le Wit’s sentences of conceptual art to the tune of Duran Duran’s The Reflex. 

As well as running the Juice bar and protecting the Susan Collis artwork from decay.

Privileges would include choosing the radio station which plays in the toilet and setting vastly inflated prices for the contents of the recycling bin.

In keeping with Eastside Projects passive aggressive multi context, cross referencing but ultimately pointless holistic world view, payment will only be accepted in denominations of 8.7 Daniel Burens.  

So, who’ll give me 8.7 Burens? 























Lot 6. Nottingham Contemporary

For Sale: Mentoring by Alex Farquharson 2010 

Alex Farquharson has been the executive director of Nottingham Contemporary since April 2007. He arrived with an international reputation as a curator, writer, lecturer, fine art painter and hair stylist.  

Unbeknown to some he received his training at Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Art, focusing primarily on oil painting and a year’s independent study in Rome, Italy where the young Farquharson would dream of running a provincial Midlands gallery from a disused carpark. 

During the time of your mentorship in 2010 you had many unplanned meetings under the canvas of a giant space man, learnt Russian and observed how to surf the Axis artists database in a hurry. 

Exhibitions you helped curate included the British Art Show 6 (seen by over 350,000 miserable people),  Le Voyage Interieur in Paris and ‘If Everybody Had an Ocean’ at Tate St Ives which contributed to a doubling of the record daily amount of cream teas sold in Tate cafes world wide. A record that is still valid and comes with this item 

Since your mentorship Farquharson’s practice has developed in to exploring how themes such as the four seasons and plot development in Holby City could be linked in a curatorial worldview. 

Quite a catch this one, who'll start me off at 1 Caruso St John, 2 Caruso St John? 

Lot 7: Tether

For Sale: Founding member of Tether

Yes, you were one of the original 27 founding members of Tether. You came up with the strapline ‘Tether investigate events only to destroy them’ after downing 10 Kim Yong ill’s in the Tiki Bar at a poorly attended Nottingham castle opening. 

Not only did you come up with this strapline ‘Tether investigate events only to destroy them’, but you may have also destroyed 13 of the former members when your art-cooking project Rirkrit ‘Orangina’ In-a-tin-of-tuna went wrong. 

After you invited the other members of Tether to drink their own body weight in Orangina, 13 members became so hyperactive that they suffered a mass hysteria attacks whilst playing online poker.

One Orangina?

Using Format