Consigned for Auction (Part 1)

An exhibition curated by David Tomas

September 7 - October 26, 2013

Opening: Saturday September 7 at 3 PM


Consigned for Auction explores some of the parameters of the contemporary art auction from the point of view of the auction catalogue. This two-part exhibition also focuses on the possibility that artists must now treat the auction as a primary reference point in the development of their practices.

Artexte’s collection comprises a wide range of information sources including, but not limited to, catalogues, artist books, works on paper and press materials. However, it contains few art auction catalogues or sources pertaining to the role of the auction and art market  within the production of knowledge about contemporary art. This void encouraged Artexte to present this project by David Tomas as an act of reflexivity and auto-critique of the current collection. How does this particular gap reveal the ambivalent relationships and tensions between those who produce and collect knowledge about art and those who market and sell it? Within Artexte’s commitment to provide reliable information about contemporary art,  this project explores an omission – the auction and market – as a frame in which the distinct yet similar acts of collecting information and collecting art objects can be considered.

David Tomas is an artist who holds a PhD in Anthropology from McGill University, an MSc. in the History and Sociopolitics of Science, University of Montreal, and a Masters in Multimedia, Concordia University, Montreal. He has presented works at the Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; Mass MOCA; Vancouver Art Gallery; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Conde Duque Medialab, Madrid; V2/TENT, Rotterdam; Museum Ludwig, Budapest; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna; Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Wiener Secession, Vienna; California Institute of the Arts, California; San Francisco State University, California; Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman; ELAC, Lyon;  Aorta, Amsterdam; PS1, NewYork; Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff; and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Tomas is the author ofVertov, Snow, Farocki: Machine Vision and the Posthuman (2013); Beyond the Image Machine: A History of Visual Technologies (2004), A Blinding Flash of Light: Photography Between Disciplines and Media (2004), and Transcultural Space and Transcultural Beings (1996). He was a Mellon Fellow in Contemporary Arts Criticism, California Institute of the Arts (1994-95); Visiting Research Fellow at Goldsmiths College, University of London (1997); and he held the Claudia De Hueck Fellowship in Art and Science at the National Gallery of Canada in 2001-2002. He teaches in l’École des arts visuels et médiatiques de l’Université du Québec à Montréal.