A Legendary Artist from Colmar
Genre: Conceptual Installation
Medium: A Video Clip, a Letter, some Documents and an Oil Painting
Displaying a fake artist like a master
A friend of mine used to be a painter. He gave me one of his works as a gift. But he had to give up painting for some time, forced by the more imminent necessities in life. Although he did not have much chance to exhibit his works, I always think that they are quite extraordinary. I then coin a new artist as creator of this work he gave me. I even make up a French name by rearranging the letters of my friend's name and tell everyone that it is one of the Paris School artists born in early 20th century. To make it more real, I forge some art critics and life stories for this made up artist. In the life story I duly tell about everything people expect from an artist: alcohol, drugs, talent, early death and even despised homosexuality. Scripts of letters by the artist, sketches, documentaries and an exhibition of the work in the perfect ambient of a museum. Does this painting look much different now?
Fake critic of the artist
It is funny that the critics of an art master seemly could be applied to any particular artist.
On what basis do people judge the value of an artwork? Is it the retrospection of the logic of art history, the context of history, the sentence of the authoritative, the offers in the market or the direct perception of the audience? Media is very good at creating a scene. Media turns reality into absurdity and makes absurdity look real. It throws itself into such scene, which are now everywhere. Artworks and museums are not spared from such fate. The masters’ always have an untold legendary story. The story is always no less touching than his works. The stories become the script for the scenes to boast about themselves. All kinds of legends are rendered to impress or deceive the audience. All this turns out to become the extension of the artwork and makes the great even greater, the legend more legendary, as if everything is but a fascinating theatre.