The Foundation for Visual Arts Middelburg (Stichting Beeldende Kunst Middelburg) presents the exhibition In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art in De Kabinetten van De Vleeshal, Zusterstraat 7, Middelburg. It opens on saturday 10 september at 4 p.m. As part of the exhibition a publication will be presented.
At 5 p.m. there will be a symposium in De Vleeshal, with curators Susan Hapgood and Cornelia Lauf and with special guests Seth Siegelaub and Daniel McClean.
‘Certiﬁcates of authenticity are a critical aspect of art works today’
Certiﬁcates of authenticity are a critical aspect of art works today. They often even embody the artwork itself, while referring to it, serving as its deed, legal statement, and ﬁscal invoice. Certiﬁcates by artists validate the authorship and originality of the work and they allow the work of art to be positioned in the
marketplace as a branded product-no matter how immaterial or transient that product may be. Whereas the inherent importance of any given work of art should be self-evident to the connoisseur’s eye, certiﬁcates point the focus elsewhere, and
prove that material or aesthetic qualities in an object sometimes do not sufﬁce in constituting the work of art. In our globalized, capitalist present, the certiﬁcate and its implications about artistic thinking have become an instrument of business nterprise, as well as a philosophical statement about the nature of an artwork.
Certiﬁcates have legal and ontological implications that make them fascinating documents of changing attitudes toward art and the role of artists.
Providing examples of artists’ certiﬁcates from the past ﬁfty years, this exhibition will reveal how roles have shifted and developed, as well as how the materials and content of art have changed too. Concise didactic texts will assist the viewer in contextualizing each inclusion in the presentation. Ranging from the most ofﬁcial looking printed documents, with their imprimatur of institutionalization, to dashed-off notations that perform the same deﬁnitive function in constituting and deﬁning the parameters of a given art work, this exhibition will interest a broad swath of audiences, ranging from art aﬁcionados to lawyers, students to aesthetes.
Robert Barry/Stefan Brüggemann
Hemali Bhuta and Shreyas Karle
The Felix Gonzalez-Torres Foundation
Josiah McElheny and Allan Kaprow
Robert Projansky and Seth Siegelaub
Raqs Media Collective
Cerith Wyn Evans