A painting begins a journey from the moment it is created: it moves from the artist’s studio to the gallery, then possibly to an art fair, the residence of a collector, a museum, a warehouse or an auction house. Throughout its existence (which is often longer than that of the actual artist), the work is an object of contemplation, desire and continual exchanges. Every person who possesses or simply looks at it establishes a brief relationship with it. And yet the painting remains unchanged, unable to show any more than what the artist initially captured on canvas.
In their project entitled The Value of Art (2010), the artists Christa Sommerer & Laurent Mignonneau (winners of VIDA 3.0) explore the concept of the value of art by giving a series of paintings the ability to be revalued as they interact with the viewer. Each painting is acquired in an auction house and equipped with a sensor that measures the time a viewer spends in front of the canvas. A small thermal paper printer marks the initial value of the piece (calculated by adding up the costs involved in its acquisition) and adds €1 for every 10 seconds a viewer stands before it. The more viewers look at the painting, the higher its monetary value, which is reflected on a strip of paper below the frame. The painting thus takes on a new dimension, incorporating a record of its own history, while making an ironic reference to the dynamics of the art market.
The piece will be on display until 9th June in the art space Laiterie Les Bouillants (France).