Salt Beyoğlu hosts exhibition on artist certificates
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Certificates have legal and ontological implications which make them fascinating documents of changing attitudes toward art and the role of artists. The exhibition provides examples of artists’ certificates from the past fifty years.Salt Beyoğlu is currently hosting “In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art,” which opened May 30 and will continue to run through Aug. 26. Curated by Susan Hapgood and Cornelia Lauf, “In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art” is an exhibition of artist certificates, or similar documents, which function as a statement of authenticity for the given artwork. Focusing on the little known territory of certificates serving as deeds for artworks, legal statements, and fiscal invoices that can both embody the artwork itself and refer to it at the same time, the exhibition invites the viewer to question the art market’s conditions that have brought about the need for registers of authenticity and works to problematizes copyright issues. The exhibition also asks the viewer to raise questions about the dual state of possessing an art work, which belongs partly to its maker, its collector (or collectors) and also its trader once it is launched into the market.
Certificates by artists validate the authorship and originality of the work. They allow the work of art to be positioned in the marketplace as a branded product, no matter how immaterial or transient that product may be. Whereas the inherent importance of any given work of art should be self-evident to the connoisseur’s eye, certificates shift the focus elsewhere, and prove that material or aesthetic qualities in an object sometimes do not suffice in constituting the work of art. In our globalized, capitalist present, the certificate and its implications for artistic thinking have become an instrument of business enterprise, as well as a philosophical statement about the nature of an artwork.
Certificates have legal and ontological implications which make them fascinating documents of changing attitudes toward art and the role of artists. The exhibition provides examples of artists’ certificates from the past fifty years, including artists in the concurrent exhibition Istanbul Eindhoven-SALTVanAbbe: 68-89 at Salt Beyoğlu. The exhibition reveals how roles have shifted and developed, as well as how the materials and content of art have changed. Ranging from the most official looking printed documents, with their imprimatur of institutionalization, to dashed-off notations that perform the same definitive function in constituting and defining the parameters of a given artwork.
In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art is a traveling exhibition previously held at the museums throughout the world including The Mumbai Art Room in New Delhi, Nero HQ in Venice, KHOJ International Artists’ Association in Rome and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois.
The exhibited items include a free handout of an artist contract prepared by Bob Projansky from the New York State Bar Association to perfectly suit the legal needs of an artist. During the run of the exhibition Salt Beyoğlu will be hosting a series of talks on authenticity and copyright issues. Apart from a few original pieces, the documents in the show are copied versions to be destroyed completely after the show closes each time.
Marcel Duchamp’s cynicism marks the show
Among the documents exhibited is a hand-made original document by the great French artist, Marcel Duchamp, which resembles a check but functions as a certificate of authentication. Reflecting the artist’s sharp wit, keen cynicism and his condescension of the art market and collectors, which marks his artistic career, the document is also an artwork in itself.
Artists in the exhibition include Ruben Aubrecht, Judith Barry, Robert Barry and Stefan Brüggemann, Hemali Bhuta and Shreyas Karle, Pierre Bismuth, Marinus Boezem, George Brecht, Daniel Buren, André Cadere, Maria Eichhorn, Urs Fischer, Dan Flavin, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation, Hans Haacke, Edward Kienholz, Yves Klein, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Ken Lum, Piero Manzoni, Gordon Matta-Clark, Josiah McElheny & Allan Kaprow, Jonathan Monk, Robert Morris, Antoni Muntadas, Yoko Ono, Cesare Pietroiusti, Adrian Piper, Emilio Prini, Robert Projansky & Seth Siegelaub, Raqs Media Collective, Robert Rauschenberg, Sharmila Samant, Joe Scanlan, David Shrigley, Daniel Spoerri, Haim Steinbach, Superflex, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Ben Vautier, Lawrence Weiner, Franz West, Ian Wilson, Cerith Wyn Evans.