This is an archived page from the Website Archive of British artist Ellie Harrison from Version 3.0 (active 2008 - 2015). New website:

last updated
15th July 2015

Fair Game

Devised specifically for the context of the ‘art fair’, Fair Game is an endurance performance which sees Ellie gamble her entire artist’s fee for the project with fair goers, by setting-up and running a hoopla stall within the fair grounds.

Punters are invited to take one throw each, free of charge, to attempt to claim some of the artist’s earnings as their own. (Ellie keeps as wages all the bank notes which are not won by the end of the fair).

This simple ‘game’ creates a direct transaction between an artist and her audience in a situation normally mediated by dealers or gallerists. The playful invitation to ‘participate’ in Fair Game becomes a more complex ethical conundrum - exploring the ideas of greed, power and success synonymous with the art market, whilst raising important questions about the ‘value’ of an artist’s work.

Fair Game was originally commissioned by Market Gallery for Vault Art Glasgow from 8th - 11th September 2011. During this three-and-a-half day art fair, Ellie Harrison lost a total of £20 (from a fee of £300) from over 110 attempted throws. All those who accepted their free throw were stamped on the hand with the words ‘fair game’.