Darren Bader's Inventory is a platform designed to promote and facilitate the selling of artworks that galleries have in storage—that is, within their respective inventories—during the COVID-19 crisis.
Here, Bader discusses how the project came to be:
Inventory was first conceived as an auction project designed to be in sync with last November’s New York auctions. There was to be a physical “showroom” in tandem with a web presence, both featuring the same 100-ish inventory works (nearly all of some vintage), which I’d combine into groups of 2 3 4 or 5 to create new discrete works with a very low starting bid. The auction never materialized, and I moved on to pitching a gambling show, involving familiar tools of chance: various-sided dice, a coin, a lottery ball system—I’d leave combinatory inventory constructions and suicidal (i.e. career-jeopardizing) pricing to impartial contingencies
Then came COVID-19, to tease out a cultural audit of sorts, shining a light on what yet remains too obscure to discern. A lot of people are financially hurting and/or painfully bored (and heck, institutional critique barely has a floor to stand on), hence the Inventory site you’re currently on. I hope you find some genuine value in it. Art is ever in the air; it only asks for percipients.
Wishing you safety, sanity, solvency, and sanguinity,
Darren Bader, Inventory, 2020. Website landing page (screenshot).