lost work of Fred Forest or the
lawsuit as pretext to artistic creation (1)
(by plane, January 1992)
Theorician of art, promoter
of exhibitions, co-director of the Kunsthalle of Zurich
In art - and one knows
it, among other things, by the practice and the nature of
the artistic work engaged by Fred Forest - there are no certainties.
There are no certainties to only one exception: everything
that is exposed in a museum having passed the usual ritual
(the museum invites the artist, the artist accepts or refuses÷)
becomes Art! And this without distinction, it is a picture,
a sculpture, a found object and signed, a tip of paper, a
gram of radium put on the roof the Museum, drawings and texts
of authors of the population invited by an artist. Just as
a lot of pages of newspapers presented in a folder, a relation
of communication under the shape of a postal packet put under
way by an artist. In short, everything that exists and that
had be chosen by an artist, all becomes art in the Museum.
And because it is art, there is in this case: presentation,
exhibition and maybe purchasing÷ Even when it is about a temporary
exhibition or the entry of the thing become art in the heritage,
and therefore in the collections, there is always the responsibility
of the museum institution that is engaged. Therefore, inventory,
protection, conservation, restoration and especially the work
must necessarily always to be covered by the insurances.
To assure everything
that he shows is one of the main duties of a director of museum
or a promoter of exhibition. And even if the invited artist
is often enemy of all bureaucracy, and manifests a holy horror
to fill the contract that must represent the sum representing
the objects to assure. But, if he had, instead of imposing
his abuse of authority, accepted the demand legitimate of
Forest to compensate him of the loss of his file with the
drawings of the "others" ... maybe this one would not have
created with his own pen, what he called "the lost work",
a work constituted of about hundred original correspondences
that articulate with different media and parodical actions
that he led against the state of Vaud during several years.
A way of "Research of the unknown Artwork" where Balzac flies
to the help of our mediatic "desesperados".
In conclusion: we will
say that morally, ethically, juridically, Fred Forest has
the right for him and the laughing; and he is right on the
whole line in his fights of artist and his critical positioning
against the representatives of the political and cultural
power and the bureaucracy. The famous last word that ends
the affair without appeals, and the end of no to receive of
the political power, constitute in his case a characterized
abuse, a loud injustice. We can consider that the political
Power in this position is not even "nasty". He simply proves
to be stupid! The proofs are obvious. The proofs are oppressive.
Harald Szeemann, January
- (I) media Action that
took place between 1978 and 1991. To see "The lost work",
edition Gallery Jacqueline Rivolta, Lausanne.