TheSquareMeter  —  Luc Lapraye — Commissariat de Colette Poitevin et Marion Zilio



TheSquareMeter  —  Luc Lapraye
Commissariat de Colette Poitevin et Marion Zilio

Past: February 4 → 27, 2016

The Laure Roynette Gallery presents Luc Lapraye’s personal exhibition:
TheSquareMeter. The value of art or square fetishism
Curated by Colette Poitevin and Marion Zilio

Developed with both a neutral and formal aesthetic, the TheSquareMeter project by Luc Lapraye doesn’t stop with the mere castigation of the speculative bubble proper to the art market.It confronts us with the thorny problem of the assessment of, and of the disproportionate importance taken by, the market framework at the expense of traditional values, through a staged mimicking and miming the law of supply and demand.

TheSquareMeter is a series of diptychs, whose retail price per square meter is pictured on the canvas. The left panel, accessible to all, is symbolically priced at 1 €/m2, while the right one follows the curve of economy, climbing from hundreds to thousands and moving from the first market to the second according to the caprice of speculation, rank and scarcity, all strategies that lead to the augmentation of value of a given work, so paving the way for secondary markets embraced by the excitement of the auction and reaching ever more exorbitant sums. Adapted to all budgets and all currencies, the series becomes the most expensive in history and evokes, like his series Numberforzero=valueartwork?, the power of zero in the determination of the value of a work.

If money sets the value of everything, it also designates itself as the absolutely desirable. The fact that contemporary art is becoming the mirror of globalization, by revealing its actors and key influencers, therefore, could not be understood without the fetishist dimension directed against him. Fetishism of the object; ego of the collector, whose purchase often serves as a communication campaign at the service of its visibility capital.
Lapraye’s paintings, translated into money of fluctuating value, become a bargaining chip. But in doing so, they find themselves at the core of a trade between men obeying to the order of the collective, of the link. Now, this is where lies the undermining function of the artist. By inventing a device that supports the logistical difficulties — from storage to hanging, through catering — Luc Lapraye intends to de-correlate the artistic dimension from business. As if situated between two unresolved, his approach fictionalises a tipping point, the one by which the art detaches itself from itself, and becomes the instrument of a hysterical runaway pushing it to the limit.

By confronting himself to the value of the intangible, the artist identifies what is at stake in the global economy, but also how to get out of it. In this circular dynamic based on the law of supply and demand, Lapraye constructs stories at each step of the process, providing meaning, mobilizing an imaginary at the service of exchange. And it is because the value is first the subject of beliefs with real effects that it must be socially constructed. From staging to stories, the approach of the French artist tends to invent new forms of sharing and value creation that restore desire and lead us outside of ourselves. If there is no objective value, if several prices are possible, because many futures are, too, its assessment is not neutral. It is never the measure of what is, but always the expression of a point of view serving interests. It is the act by which society commits itself, deciding which channels will be explored and which other will be rejected.

The work of Lapraye seizes these paradoxical equations involving different values: financial, academic, media, symbolic of the work; it produces its reverse as well as its criticism.

— Marion Zilio

  • Luc Lapraye — TheSquareMeter Opening Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 5 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

20, rue de Thorigny

75003 Paris

T. 06 08 63 54 41

Saint-Sébastien – Froissart

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 2 PM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment

The artist

  • Luc Lapraye