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ADAGP symposium on the traceability of artworks. Event report.

05/10/2017
ADAGP symposium on the traceability of artworks. Event report.

The ADAGP held a symposium entitled "The Traceability of artworks or the force of their history" at the Institut National des Arts on 28 September.

The ADAGP held a symposium entitled "The Traceability of artworks or the force of their history" at the Institut National des Arts on 28 September.

As we are evolving in a world where the demand for every kind of artwork has never been as strong and where digital technologies have enabled a profusion of distribution channels for these creations, why is the traceability of artworks, as much in their material sense as in the digital domain, such a key issue? Who are the stakeholders? What are the methods? The threats?

 

View the slideshow here

 

Traceability of artworks, definition

Traceability: modern dictionaries define it as the possibility of following a product through the different stages of production, transformation and commercialisation, particularly in the food industry. (Larousse) 

Traceability is not a term recognised by the Académie Française, it is merely tolerated. Modern dictionaries define it as the possibility of following a product through the different stages of production, transformation and commercialisation, particularly in the case of foodstuffs. When transferred to the art market, traceability tells the history of an artwork, from its creation to its successive sales or other acquisition procedures. You may also talk about the journey of an artwork.

Studying the traceability of an artwork means understanding its journey, from its creation to its distribution and circulation within the art market and museum institutions.

Because an artwork is not just a simple asset, because it is not an object like any other, the journey of an artwork is multifaceted. On the one hand, an artwork is a filial, almost carnal expression by the artist. On the other hand, it investigates beauty and imagination, it penetrates the person who looks at it and questions their sensibilities. It's a dual relationship: with the creator and the spectator. Beyond this relationship, the market plays its part and promotes this filial bond through its quest for authenticity and the artwork's unique (or almost) character. It is this dual approach that guides the study of the traceability of an artwork, implying copyright on the one hand, and the art market and museum institutions on the other.

 

Experts in conversation

Around a scientific committee consisting of Alexandra Bensamoun, Professor of Law at Rennes 1 University, and Françoise Labarthe, Professor of Law at Paris-Sud University, the symposium allowed artists, scientists, gallery owners, lawyers, politicians, philosophers and museum experts to discuss the place of culture in our society, the author and the intractable bond between the artist and their work:

- Diane Arques, artist

- Tristan Azzi, Professor at the Sorbonne Law School, Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University

- Babs, artist

- Harry Bellet, journalist, Le Monde

- Alexandra Bensamoun, Professor of Law at Rennes 1 University

- Éric de Chassey, Director of the INHA 

- Hervé Di Rosa, visual artist

- Marie-Anne Ferry-Fall, Director of the ADAGP

- Christophe Genin, Professor of the Philosophy of Art and Culture at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, member of the ACTE Institute (UMR 8218), Director of the "Cultural Studies" team, Director of the Postgraduate School of Visual Arts, Art Science and Aesthetics.

- Christian Jaccard, President of the ADAGP 

- Véronique Jaeger, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger (tbc)

- Françoise Labarthe, Professor, Paris-Sud University

- Serge Lasvignes, President of the Centre Georges-Pompidou

- Constance Le Grip, Member of Parliament for Hauts-de-Seine, Vice-President of the Cultural Affairs and Education Commission. Member of European Parliament from 2010 to 2017.

- Michel Menu, Director of research at C2RMF (Centre for Research and Restoration of Museums of France).

- Meret Meyer, Vice-President of the Marc Chagall committee

- Vincent Noce, journalist

- Françoise Nyssen, Minister for Culture (video)

- Sylvain Piat, Director of Business Standards and Rules, CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers). 

- Isabelle Szczepanski, journalist, ElectronLibre

- Stéphane Théfo, Police Commander, Security Officer for Lyon 1 University, member of the ICMS (International Committee for Museum Security)

 

Symposium of 28 September 2017

Presented at the Institut national d’histoire de l’art à Paris (INHA), the conference was organised around two round table discussions:

- Traceability as the guarantee of protection of an artwork, specifically in the digital era.

- Traceability, the guarantee of the value of an artwork in its material form, on the art market and to museum institutions.

 

It also included performances by two artists, who gave free reign to their own interpretation of traceability:

- the artist Babs has been working in the field of graffiti since he was 11, offered us a performance full of energy and colours around the theme of the bar code

- artist Diane Arques looked at the 1,001 lives of an artwork with a poetic and delicate evocation in images and words.

 

 

The symposium was filmed from start to finish and will soon be available to view on our website and our YouTube channel.

View the live tweet from the event

View the programme here.