Part 2 : October 31, 2013 to January 11, 2014
Consigned for Auction explores some of the parameters of the contemporary art auction from the point of view of the auction catalogue. In Part 2, Tomas further elaborates the notion of the auction catalogue as an archive of an object’s economic value, and its social and cultural history. In addition, examples of subversive responses to the auction format, by artists such as Louise Lawler and Damien Hirst, will be examined.
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.