Would You Buy a Performance?

September 7, 2019


How would you like to buy performance art...no, not the video or photo documentation but the performance itself?

“Would you like to own an artwork in which a woman plays with assorted objects laid out on a table? Or perhaps you might be interested in acquiring an industrial fan that delicately balances a balloon in mid-air?

The new protocol put in place by the fair ensures that dealers can answer any questions that might arise about the transaction. (Such questions might include: Will the collector or the artist be tasked with hiring performers for future activations? Are the costumes included?). Guidance like this makes acquiring performance feel less like a blind act of patronage and more like a transaction. ‘I have only acquired two immaterial works so far, and I have not managed yet to get them performed,’ Frédéric de Goldschmidt said. ‘This could have been different indeed with better defined protocols.’

..The props associated with unactivated performances, however confusing they might look, may be the essential objects for sale....Although no dealers immediately reported sales on the first day of this year’s edition, many note that performance purchases are often the result of a longer conversation that begins at the fair.”


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