DEMANDS & SUPPLIES at Silicon Malley : Press Release (2020)
DEMANDS & SUPPLIES, Matthieu Laurette's first solo exhibition in Switzerland since 1999 at MAMCO in Geneva, will fill the space from floor to ceiling at Silicon Malley (2.5 x 4 meters [98 x 157.5 in]), an artist-run space hosting one visitor at a time due to the COVID-19 situation, and spread to an online sales website (www.demandsandsupplies.art), powered by Shopify™ that will be available worldwide.
Conceived as a retrospective, DEMANDS & SUPPLIES (2012—ongoing) picks up the story left off at the artist's eponymous exhibition in 2012 at Gaudel de Stampa in Paris. It presents a full financial disclosure of all costs and expenses incurred in the past eight years of Matthieu Laurette's practice as an artist.
"Accumulator or otaku of Contemporary art, Matthieu Laurette is a demanding artist in the sense that he manages to integrate into his work all the elements or data that participate in the preparation, production, presentation, distribution, mediation, promotion and reception of his work." (1)
In contrast to Chris Burden, who made public his profit and loss (Full Financial Disclosure, 1977) as decorative "collages" of canceled checks, bank statements, tax forms which he called "drawings," Matthieu Laurette is proposing since 2012, through a commercial arrangement, simple two-line contracts that allow his expenses to be acquired. Rather than producing or exhibiting a single material object, Matthieu Laurette generates financial "exhaust" his bills and debts — to be paid for by collectors. Today anyone can become a collector on www.demandsandsupplies.art.
As the artist explained in a discussion with Seth Siegelaub in Frieze (2013): "DEMANDS & SUPPLIES, consists entirely of contracts — say, a contract that a collector could purchase the cost of my phone deals, the rent of my studio or have a dinner with me and stuff like that." (2)
Matthieu Laurette considers his basic artist’s expenses as production costs that are then doubled to define the selling price of the work, ranging from 207.66 euros for Matthieu Laurette’s 2015 mobile phone bills were purchased by ____________________________, up to 31,909.14 euros for the entirety of his 2019 expenses. These works, available for online order and on-site purchase at Silicon Malley, are unique printed contracts in A4 or US letter format (dimensions variable according to collector's location), which must be signed by both parties — the collector and the artist — to be then framed in an artist's frame (size: 37.5 x 29 x3.5 cm / 14.75 x 11.25 x 1.25 in). For more details, please contact us by email or visit the website: www.demandsandsupplies.art.
Postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis, this exhibition marks the celebration of Silicon Malley's 5th anniversary and its reopening after seven months. Even though Matthieu Laurette customarily omits biographical data in his work, the artist had suggested organizing the opening reception of the exhibition on the 24th of August 2020, the very day of his 50th birthday. The project, with a "physical" exhibition at Silicon Malley in Switzerland and a year-long online shop accessible to all, remains exactly the same as planned in 2019 before the pandemic. The rescheduled presentation — now appearing alongside "Galleries and Art Fairs Online Viewing Rooms" and "Institutions generating online content" — further calls into question the transactional nature of online visibility and critiques the "outsideness" of not-for-profit culture and artists-run spaces. In so doing, the artist lays bare the mechanisms of individual consumption and existence.
In 1993, when asked on a French TV game show called Tournez Manège (The Dating Game) to describe himself, Matthieu Laurette replied, "A multimedia artist." He has since been exploring the relationship between art and society with an œuvre that he characterizes as "IRL Institutional Critique." His body of work seeks to show inconsistencies or flaws in the systems imposed by late capitalism and Spectacle.
This project reduces an artistic work to the exhaustive list of expenses necessary to its own conception. Furthermore, it questions the value that any person, including the artist himself, can place on a work, including all that it can be brought to encompass, conceal, or even disguise. Reduced to an increasingly essential data for many artists — financial data — DEMANDS & SUPPLIES displays in an orderly sequence of A4 sheets of paper on the wall, a raw look at what is the lived reality of an artist today.
Silicon Malley, 2020.
(1) Arthur Fouray, I do not wish to add more, 2020 in Actes du Colloque Vues & Données, to be published in September 2020, ENSP, France.
(2) Vivian Sky Rehberg, The Real World in Frieze, No.154, Apr. 2013.
About the artist:
Matthieu Laurette (b. 1970) participated in the 49th Venice Biennale in 2001 curated by Harald Szeemann, and his work has been presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim (1998), MoMA-PS1 (2005) and MoMA (2007) in New York, Stedelijk (2005) in Amsterdam, Castello di Rivoli (2001) in Turin, Mamco (1999) in Geneva, Palais de Tokyo (2003 & 2006) and the Pompidou Centre (1997, 2000, 2004, 2007 & 2009) in Paris. A retrospective of his work spanning over three decades will be held at MACVAL-Musée d'Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne (Vitry-sur-Seine) in 2022.
DEMANDS & SUPPLIES
Opening: 24.08.2020 5—9pm
Ave. du Chablais 18, 1008 Prilly, Switzerland
firstname.lastname@example.org, +41 77 423 30 14
Online Viewing Room: 24.08.2020—24.08.2021