Ghislain Mollet-Viéville, “a very special agent” interview by Paul Ardenne for Galeries Magazine, Décembre 1992

His apartment on rue Beaubourg had served more as a meeting place than a business location. Ghislain Mollet-Viéville, art agent specializing in minimal and conceptual art, has recently moved to rue Crozatier, not far from the Bastille. He hasn’t changed his orientation though. For this atypical player of the art-market game, the gallery is a vestige and the material artwork an often superfluous object. Far more well-founded is the commerce of initiatives and ideas.

 

Paul Ardenne
You qualify yourself as an “agent d’art” That’s not exactly a time-worn denomination…

Ghislain Mollet-Vieville

Indeed I created the term “agent d’art” quite deliberately, in the late 1970s. For me, the main thing was to signal a specific attitude, more artistic than commercial. Agent d’art, and not artists’ agent. More than one nuance is at work there. I wanted the chance to intervene myself.

PA
So your spin on the art system was straight away that of an operator, not an economic representative ?

GMV
Yes. An operator, an actor, someone who most definitely intends to dynamise the state of art.

PA
In what way ?

GMV
In 1975, at 26 rue Beaubourg, I hung a show of minimal and conceptual art. That constituted the first event in a long series, which included, for example, an action by Andre Cadere around the idea “Establish Disorder” – which, as a matter of fact, and not illogically, ended up as a huge tussle set off by the arrival of a crowd of rockers in the apartment. A museum would obviously have had some difficulty organizing this type of action, simultaneously presenting the most advanced thinking on a given problem and its immediate abyssal reflection, in real time… In 1979 my apartment was the focal point of Philippe Thomas’s first interventions, and in 1981 the presentation of a found, unsigned manuscript launched an investigation of the text’s relationship to its author – the first event in a fiction that is well known today

PA
So your apartment is above all a stage ?

GMV
The appartment is only one of the means at my disposal. Many actions take place outside, in the city. It’s a way for me to keep my activity from freezing in a single spot, and to keep open the possibility of occupying different spaces, different contexts… What’s more, since the beginning my “gallery” has only open by rendez-vous. This exchange-oriented formula allows for much more comfortable relations, it strikes up a balanced rapport between the artist, the art-lover, and the agent d’art himself, who then can play his full role as provider of services.

PA
Your active position results from a radical refusal of the conventions that apply to the gallerist. There’s an analogy with the challenge posed to the museum institution by the conceptual artists whom you represent…

GMV
I thought at the time, and still think, that the designated cultural sites cannot take on art in its real dimensions. In such places, the public does not learn to look at works for what they are. The presentation of the works is tributary to the classical contraints of exhibition, which turn around to entrap the works themselves. In fact, the cultural site encloses the artist with its rules. The ultimate consequences is the public’s near inability to understand those artists who, precisely, have chosen to provoke original situations in response to the traditionnal propositions of exhibition or acquisition. This is why I myself judged it necessary to rethink these confrontations, notably by changing the conventions that ordinarily serve as a basis for the concept of the art gallery.

PA
Do you deny all legitimacy to the traditional gallery ?

GMV
Let us say that my work complements the gallery’s. Thus I’m also free to present the ideas of artists who are themselves represented by galleries, when these ideas are not adaptable to the ordinary gallery strctures.

PA
I quite agree that your activity diverges from the norm. In the end, though, doesn’t such activity come right back to the market ? After all, the art market remains your territory, even if you live off honoraria…

GMV
I can define my activities, not so much by the presentation of such and such an artist, but rather by the key words of information and distribution of art. My field of activity involves everything relating to the management of archives or articles, to the lectures and interviews I give, to the expertise I supply, to the public sales or exhibitions I organize here and there – in short, the activity of communication as well as presence on the market. It’s less important for me – I insist – to participate in the market of the art object than to reveal the degree to which this market in itself is an art object. If the market interests me, it’s to the extent that it participates in artistic activity.

PA
That’s the famous reversal of codes proper to late capitalism : art validated by economics rather than by its aesthetic value. The artwork remains nonetheless a material object…

GMV
A Mondrian painting or a Brancusi sculpture are objects, you pay for them, you have them in your home. Other twentieth-century artists have occupied a more opportune, more analytic position, now on the point of generating an audience somewhat less eager for objects than for critical ideas. We’re evolving from the aesthetic of the art object toward the aesthetic of the concept. If I became an agent d’art, it’s because I’m convinced that the promotion and distribution of art is an artistic activity constituting both the content and the “meta-form” of an art that is itself no longer productive of forms. On the artistic level there is no fundamental reason to return to the object. My collection, for example, takes the form of my library and my computer disk, every bit as much as the note-cards, the indexes, the projects by artists and others.

PA
So you sell ideas ?

GMV
I sell ideas. I also hold that art lovers no longer have to be “collection potatoes”. They can act on their own initiative to realize a wall drawing by Sol LeWitt, or to take charge of Claude Rutault’s “definitions/methodes”… The collector can feel a legitimate right to make art, to participate in an artistic gesture. It’s then up to me then to arrange the occasions, to play my role as intermediary.

PA
In the end you deal in action, not just in contemplation. But by selling the abstract for the concrete, you sacrfice the fetish…

GMV
People have been preaching the abandonment of illusionism in art since Cezanne. After Duchamp, the art object left the realm of the decorative, moving into fields of reference. With the aesthetic of the art object as such now obsolete, it is possible to adopt an aesthetic of reality, an aesthetic which takes the world for what it is. Consider my action at Picard frozen foods, with the presentation of Lawrence Weiner’s statement : IN AND OUT… I present an ordinary business as an ordinary business. Nothing was modified for this event, all the store’s products remain in their real places. The very presentation of the announced Weiner piece consists only in the comings (IN) and goings (OUT) of people doing their shopping, or of visitors to the opening, searching – fruitlessly – for the tangible product that the art market generally offers them. Here, I’ve presented art in the form which I think is truly its own – that of the concept – by asking this question : when is there art and how can it be made ? We slip from the aesthetic of the concept to the aesthetic of the context. An artistic process is inscribed in a larger reality, on which it depends. Now, if I had to define in a single phrase what I find interesting in my relation to art, it would be exactly that : the revelation of the context , as a way to throw our current art system into question.

Davis Museum

 

Davis Lisboa | Davis Museum | Rose Marie Barrientos | Critical Companies | BTV | Barcelona Televisió from Davis Lisboa on Vimeo.

 

Visit Site: http://www.davismuseum.com/

Davis Museum | The Davis Lisboa Mini-Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona, was founded on Facebook in 2009, is the first and unique contemporary art museum created in a ballot box, with its own permanent contemporary art collection. It is also a ready-made sculpture and collective work of art. It is a non-profit artistic project that organizes and produces exhibitions, encourages research and promotes contemporary art exhibitions.

 

dm-cove3

 

Davis Museum has travelling exhibitions to other cultural centers, museums and institutions, nationally and internationally, while generating debate, thought and reflection. Its mission is the selection, presentation, study, dissemination and preservation of contemporary art by emerging and renowned artists from around the world.

 

davis-museum-stage

 

Davis Lisboa (São Paulo, Brazil, 1965), installation view of The Davis Museum’s Polling Station, 2009-2014, plexiglass ballot box, vinyl and mirror; wood pedestal and box; rotating base, catenary and rope; curtain; framed digital print on paper; iPad kiosk; stool; painted wall and stage. Height: 65,75 in (167 cm); width 53,5 in (136 cm); depth 20,86 in (53 cm).

Antoine Lefebvre

Antoine Lefebvre is an artist-publisher whose works explore all kinds of printed matter, from lithographs to ‘zines, with a consistent concern for language and its operation.

Lefebvre-236x300

He founded La Bibliothèque Fantastique in 2009 as a platform for artist books production and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Fine Arts at the Sorbonne, where he received his undergraduate degree. Lefebvre is s currently living and working in New York through an exchange program with New York University’s MFA program.

Aside

La Bibliotheque Fantastique

Par Antoine Lefebvre

 

La Bibliothèque Fantastique is an artist’s books virtual publisher. Our books are free and downloadable from the internet so that you can print them at home. Most of our books are exclusive productions. The others are reeditions of works who are free of any kind of rights. The purpose of LBF is to offer a view on books expressed by books themselves. Its works are made of excerpts of other works, with pages, sentences and words met in a stroke of good fortune.

La Bibliothèque Fantastique is a minimalist publisher in the sense that all the superfluous has been removed. Indeed, the books of LBF have no predetermined physical existence, they exist in a state of potentiality on the web, awaiting to become. They cost nothing, you can get them without spending a penny. They have no ISBN either, because they are works of art. They have no color, so that they can be printed in any printer. That’s what LBF books don’t have, which is almost more important than what they do, because our approach is conceived as a negative of that which is habitually proposed by the market spectacle society. The idea is to show various poetic singularities as opposed to the flashy commodities which our society feeds us.

What the LBF books do have is above all a great freedom of content, revealing a very large and global conception of art. They contain all forms of expression usually found in print, i.e., drawing and photographs, as well as essays, novels, journalistic investigations etc..

 

 

The covers of LBF books are invariably appropriated from existing sources, the published artists just select one and use it as a cover for their book. The author’s name is deleted and replaced by the name of the artist, the name of the original publisher is also cleared since the new book is no longer its property. The artist can also change the title of the book to enhance it. The content of the book is completely open, the artist develops it through the pages to meet his or her project. The books are produced with bits and pieces from other books, developing a discourse on the ontology of the book. This project seeks to examine the nature of the book by submitting it to the approaches similar to those used by minimalist artists to test the limits of painting and art. The purpose of LBF is to explore the boundaries of what is a book and and what is not.

La Bibliothèque Fantastique est une structure d’édition de livres d’artistes, dont les livres sont gratuits, sous licence art libre, et téléchargeables sur internet au format pdf, afin que tout le monde puisse les imprimer. La Bibliothèque Fantastique se pose dans une démarche de production d’œuvres d’art. La plupart de ses livres sont des créations originales, les autres sont des rééditions d’œuvres dont les auteurs ont choisi qu’elles soient libres de droits. La Bibliothèque Fantastique propose un discours du livre sur lui-même, ses livres sont faits de morceaux de livres épars, de pages, de phrases, de mots rencontrés par hasard.

 

Ce projet tire son nom de l’essai de Foucault intitulé La Bibliothèque Fantastique, dans lequel il propose une analyse du travail de Flaubert sur La tentation de Saint Antoine. Foucault entend l’expression « phénomène de bibliothèque », dans le sens où les tentations que subit Saint Antoine font systématiquement référence à des mythes et des mythologies du monde entier. Ce livre est donc réalisé à partir de livres, de mythes et de personnages empruntés, comme le dit Foucault, « tous les autres livres, rêvés, fragmentés, déplacés, combinés, éloignés, mis à distance par le songe, mais par lui aussi rapprochés jusqu’à la satisfaction imaginaire et scintillante du désir » . Flaubert pioche dans sa bibliothèque pour y trouver les mythes et autres histoires avec lesquels il construira les tentations de Saint Antoine, faisant intervenir des personnages connus de tous qui valent également pour la charge culturelle qu’ils représentent.

Ce livre invente son propre genre littéraire, de la même façon dont les artistes du vingtième siècle s’appliqueront à inventer leur propre médium, dans un rapport d’échange entre le fond et la forme. Pour Foucault, La tentation est une œuvre fondatrice, elle rend possible ce qui viendra après, c’est-à-dire l’esprit moderne. « Après, le Livre de Mallarmé deviendra possible, puis Joyce, Roussel, Kafka, Pound, Borges. La bibliothèque est en feu. »

La Bibliothèque Fantastique est une maison d’édition minimaliste dans le sens ou tout le superflu a été retiré. En effet, les livres de LBF n’ont pas d’existence physique prédéterminée, ils vivent à l’état de potentialité sur la toile, en attente de devenir. Ils n’ont pas non plus de prix vous pouvez vous les procurer sans débourser le moindre centime. Ils n’ont pas d’ISBN, car ce sont des œuvres d’art, pas de couleur n’ont plus, pour que l’on puisse les imprimer sur toutes les imprimantes sans exceptions.

 

Voilà ce que les livres de LBF n’ont pas, ce qui est quasiment plus important que ce qu’ils ont car cette démarche se construit comme un négatif de ce que nous propose habituellement la société spectaculaire marchande, et dans l’idée de montrer des singularités poétiques diverses, à l’opposé du tape-à-l’œil dont la société nous abreuve.
Ce que les livres de LBF ont, c’est avant tout une très grande liberté de contenu révélant une idée de l’art très large et englobante. On pourra donc trouver dans ces livres, toutes les différentes formes d’expression que l’on trouve habituellement dans les supports imprimés, c’est à dire du dessin, ou de la photographie, mais également des essais, des romans, des enquêtes journalistiques, etc.

Les livres de LBF présentent invariablement une couverture détournée de n’importe quel livre préexistant que l’artiste choisie pour en faire la couverture de son livre. Le nom de l’auteur est donc effacé pour être remplacé par le nom de l’artiste, le nom de la maison d’édition originale est également effacé car le nouveau livre ne lui appartient plus. L’artiste peut également modifier le titre du livre pour l’agrémenter à son goût. L’intérieur du livre est totalement libre, et l’artiste y développe à travers les pages un rythme qui sert son propos. Les livres produits sont faits de morceaux de livres, ils développent ainsi un discours sur l’ontologie du livre, ce projet cherche à interroger la nature de l’objet livre en la mettant en danger de la même manière que les artistes minimalistes ont cherchés à tester les limites de la peinture et de l’art, le but de LBF est d’explorer les frontières de ce qui est livre et ce qui ne l’est plus. Les artistes invités par LBF sont donc invités à apporter leur contribution à une réflexion sur le livre, à l’aide de la méthode de Flaubert mise en lumière par Foucault : « Elle ouvre l’espace d’une littérature qui n’existe que dans et par le réseau du déjà écrit : livre où se joue la fiction des livres. »

Tous les livres produits par La Bibliothèque Fantastique sont sous licence artlibre

pour nous contacter:
contact (at) labibliothequefantastique (point) net

JaZoN Frings is,

Jazon Frings is an artist that operates under the identity of the JaZoN Ex. (JZX^), which he is the creator and president.
JZX is a system of notions that express the current state of his life. He uses different mechanisms from the financial world to reinterpret not only the idea of value itself, but how we can create art using it. His work robs the economy of the question thought to be its exclusive domain:
how to interpret value?
He has created financial instruments never before seen that express the diversity of life’s experiences in all their complexity:

monetary systems, stocks, investment funds, bonds, and more.

 

In turn the concept of finance is re-thought opening greater perspectives than its current status of a playground for a select few.
By putting into place his proper value systems he directly confronts the rational ideas of contemporary economics,
when life’s absurdities become the crucial point for determining value, more doesn’t always have to be better than less.

The aim of JaZoN’s work is to use value as expression,
therefore each of his creations have their own value systems and regulations, plus most function in real time
with an important place for public participation.